No More Green Waste in the Landfill

June 09, 2011

Dump Truck Image

On the heels of Sandia National Laboratories’ successful food waste composting program, Pollution Prevention (P2) has teamed with the Facilities’ Grounds and Roads team and the Solid Waste Transfer Facility to implement green waste composting.

Previously, branches and logs were being diverted and mulched by Kirtland Air Force Base at their Construction & Demolition Landfill that is on base and utilized under contract by Sandia.  The mulch is available to the Air Force and Sandia for landscaping uses.  However, grass clippings, leaves, and other green waste were being disposed in the landfill.

In an initiative to save time and trips by small trucks with trailers to the landfill carrying organic debris, two 30 cubic yard rolloffs were purchased out of recycling revenues and designated for use as collection drop-off points for all green waste including weeds, grass clippings, leaves and branches.  They are periodically moved to follow landscaping activities on site.  When they are full, they are delivered to the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Soil Amendment Facility (SAF) to be composted.

As an added bonus, after the rolloff is emptied at the SAF, a load of finished compost can be purchased and brought back in the same trip as the landscapers have need.

To reduce the amount of grass clippings and leaves generated, a mulching lawn mower was tested by one of the landscaping teams for two years.  Considered a success, two more mulching lawn mowers were purchased with recycling revenues so that all three landscaping teams would have one available.

Time, fuel and material waste have all been reduced, while a beautiful campus continues to be maintained.