The Marshall County Solid Waste Management District received a $5,000.00 grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation this spring to fund a yard waste facility feasibility study, which is being conducted by GT Environmental, an engineering firm located in Columbus, Ohio. Marianne Peters, District Director, chose GT Environmental because of their work on similar projects with other Indiana solid waste districts. The remainder of the study’s cost was paid by the District; the total cost was $26,000.00.
Currently Marshall County lacks a collection facility for organic waste, whether it be grass clippings, landscape trimmings, or brush. “This time of year, we receive lots of calls from residents trying to dispose of their yard waste,” said Peters. “If you are living in a rural subdivision or have close neighbors, piling or burning that waste can be a nuisance. It’s also a health hazard for people with respiratory problems.” The District offers information and supplies for household composting, but it does not have the space to offer large scale yard waste disposal at its location.
A significant amount of Marshall County yard waste is currently being landfilled. “Yard waste in landfills produces methane gas as it breaks down,” said Peters. “It’s much better for our health and the environment to make this material into mulch or compost.” Peters points out that yard waste is a free resource that can improve soil, beautify landscapes, and add revenue. “The study will give us information on ways we can collect and reuse this material,” she said. “It will help us to identify the right site and funding for the facility, the type of collection system that works for Marshall County, what end use markets are available to us, and what equipment we will need.”
The yard waste feasibility study will be completed in August and is just the first step in the conversation about yard waste solutions. “We’re grateful for the Community Foundation’s partnership on this project. Rather than burning, piling, or landfilling yard waste, let’s keep it in circulation,” said Peters.