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Vol. IV No. 3

May  / June 2010

NEWS Photo courtesy of Mulch Mfg.,

Serving Soil, Mulch, Compost, & Biofuel Professionals

Attention Readers !

Are you looking for Products, Equipment or Services for your business? If so, please check out these leading companies advertised in this issue: Bagging Systems Hamer LLC - pg 16 Premier Tech Chronos - pg 4 Rethceif Packaging - pg 6 Businesses For Sale Coldwell Banker Commercial - pg 13 Colorants For Mulch Colorbiotics - pg 15 Florida Coastal Colors - pg 12 Compost & Wood Waste For Sale Litco International - pg 16 The Pallet Shop - pg 13 Compost Mixers & Spreaders Roto-Mix LLC - pg 14 Compost Turners Turn and Screen - pg 11 Shredders, Grinders, Chippers & Screening Systems Allu Group Inc - pg 18 Duratech - pg 5 Earth Saver Equipment - pg 11 Hogzilla - pg 11 Komptech - pg 4 Morbark Inc. - pg 2 Peterson - pg 19 REMU - pg 20 (back cover) Screen USA - pg 14 Universal Equip. Mfg. - pg 13 Vermeer/Wildcat - pg 17 West Salem Machinery - pg 12 Transport Trailers Trinity Trailer Mfg - pg 5

Irate Mulch Industry Awaits New Rules on Biomass Subsidy Program


By P.J. Heller

ulch producers — angered over a federal government program that has already seriously impacted their industry — are anxiously awaiting new guidelines due out later this year for the Farm Service Agency’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program. While the program’s goal of providing financial subsidies to encourage cultivation of new biomass crops has generally been endorsed by mulch producers, the actual result of BCAP has been to create a crisis in the mulch industry and chaos in the marketplace, according to mulch company officials. “The intentions were right but it’s gotten dangerously out of hand,” says Steve Liffers, president of Coastal Supply in Dagsboro, Delaware. “They (government officials) have put this industry in jeopardy. Their attitude is if they wipe out this industry, it’s for the greater good.” “We’ve been put at a real competitive disadvantage,” adds John Leber, general manager of Swanson Bark & Wood Products in Longview, Wash. “Basically, they’re throwing an awful lot of us under the bus.” The mulch industry, however, doesn’t plan to go down without a fight. “We’re doing everything we know how to do,” says John Spencer, chief executive officer of Mulch Manufacturing in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. That includes meetings between mulch company representatives and government and

elected officials. The Mulch and Soil Council encouraged its members to wage an aggressive letter writing campaign during a governmentimposed comment period that ended in early April. A suggested industry letter contends the government subsidy program has not only created shortages of raw materials, but has prompted excessive price increases for those materials. Such an impact, the letter warns, “will force industry-wide closures.” “Using $2 billion in taxpayer money to redistribute raw materials in existing markets which eliminates environmentally beneficial companies supporting rural development and employment worth hundreds of thousands of jobs with no gain in new biomass resources is a consequence that we believe was not intended by Congress,” the letter states. The ire of the mulch industry — not to mention composite wood manufacturers and paper, pulp and packaging companies among others — is aimed directly at the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, or BCAP, which was part of the 2008 farm bill. The BCAP provision was designed to provide a subsidy to forest and agriculture land owners for eligible biomass material delivered to a qualified biomass conversion facility. As of April 16, more than $185 million in subsidies had been doled out, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Continued on page 3

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Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010



Mulch Producer NEWS

Irate Mulch Industry Awaits New Rules on Biomass Subsidy Program Continued from page 1

PUBLICATION STAFF Publisher / Editor Rick Downing Contributing Editors / Writers P.J. Heller Robert J. Rua Production & Layout Barb Fontanelle Christine Pavelka Advertising Sales Rick Downing Subscription / Circulation Donna Downing Editorial, Circulation & Advertising Office 6075 Hopkins Road Mentor, OH 44060 Ph: 440-257-6453 Fax: 440-257-6459 Email: For subscription information, please call 440-257-6453. Soil & Mulch Producer News is published quarterly by Downing & A s s o c i a t e s. Re p r o d u c t i o n s or transmission of Soil & Mulch Producer News, in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Annual subscription rate U.S. is $19.95. Outside of the U.S. add $10.00 ($29.95). ontact our main office, or mail-in the subscription form with payment. ©

Copyright 2010 by Downing & Associates

Those payments and new applications for collection, harvest, storage and transportation of eligible materials were put on hold while government officials sought comment on final rules for the program. The comment period ended April 9 and more than 24,000 responses were received, according to government officials. “We’ve very much aware of the concerns of the mulch industry, and we’re listening,” says Todd Atkinson, a senior policy advisor in the Farm Service. “We’ve had a large volume of mulch suppliers submit formal comments on the proposed BCAP regulation. Every one of these comments will receive careful examination in the development of the final BCAP rules.” Those rules are not expected for months. Exactly what those new rules will entail is unknown, although there have been hints that they might limit the use of so-called “highervalue” resources as well as putting a cap on the funding for the program. The mulch industry is essentially lobbying for a more level playing field, although there appears to be varying opinions on just how to accomplish that. Those opinions range from having forest products excluded from the list of items eligible for BCAP funds to including mulch producers as those eligible for subsidies. “Either the government needs to get out entirely or rewrite it to accomplish the original goals,” Leber suggests. The Mulch and Soil Council offered four recommendations to address the issue: • Freeze BCAP funding of forest products until “higher-value” resources are properly defined and protected from the temporary, artificial and unfair market conditions created by BCAP. • Focus BCAP on the original objective of incentivizing farm production of new, renewable biomass crops. • Limit BCAP funding for the forest products industry to establishment grants for new tree farms dedicated to expanding biomass supplies. • Assure America’s ability to meet our own carbon reduction goals by continuing tax credits to U.S. companies for utilization of biomass energy technologies and enforce the rules prohibiting taxpayer subsidies of foreign-owned companies. Industry officials complain that many of the plants receiving BCAP money are producing fuel pellets or pucks which are then being shipped overseas. “It doesn’t seem like the right thing to do with our natural resources,” says Spencer, who would like to see products created with BCAP funding banned from being exported. “Why are we considering funding an industry with government money to consume our raw materials to make products which will

be shipped to Europe and Asia so they can meet their Kyoto protocol requirements at the expense of damaging or destroying our own strong mulch industry in this country and consuming our raw materials,” he asks. “In a few years it will be necessary for the United States to meet their own Kyoto protocol,” he says. “If the BCAP program is going to continue, then the wood pellet/ puck export market should be excluded as an acceptable product.” Leber, too, expresses concern about the overseas shipments. “I have a problem with it personally that the government is going to subsidize exports,” he says. “The money that goes to buy the fuel that makes pellets is then going overseas by a substantial percentage.” Spencer, among others, points to the fact that mulch is the “ultimate green industry” while biofuel plants may leave something to be desired. “Power plants and fuel producers will still create some level of pollutants through the consumption of energy in the processing cycle or by burning the product,” he says. “It seems completely counter productive to damage one industry that is already benefiting the ecology to start a new industry that will be less environmentally friendly.” Leber says he doesn’t believe there was “evil intent” behind the original measure but that it just “ran amok,” an opinion echoed by others in the industry. Notes Liffers: “Here’s an example of where the system has gotten completely out of control and completely overlooked an entire industry and doesn’t seem to care.” Leber’s company has been forced to pay double for raw materials, costs which he says cannot be passed on to clients due to previously negotiated contracts. “We eat it,” he says of the cost differential. “We have to honor those (contracts) through the fall. The fact that the price jumped and nobody saw it coming, that’s not their problem.” Spencer and others note that even a small change in material costs can have a huge effect on their businesses due to existing contracts, coupled with the small margins available to producers. “It is highly feasible that the effect of BCAP at the beginning of a season could dramatically impact the cost and availability of the raw materials required to satisfy contractual obligations to customers by producers. This could result in default and possibly failure of some companies,” he warns. At Coastal Supply, Liffers reports that demand for mulch has “skyrocketed” this year, due in part to a recovering economy. Continued on page 4 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News




Mulch Producer NEWS

Komptech USA Inc. 1724 Majestic Drive #104 Lafayette, CO 80026 [P] 720-890-9090, [F] 720-890-5907 [E]

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The Crambo is a slow-speed dual-shaft shredder for wood and green waste, and pretreated synthetic fractions. The slow shaft speed minimizes dust and noise. Hydraulic drive with load-dependent speed control gives maximum efficiency.

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Irate Mulch Industry Awaits New Rules on Biomass Subsidy Program Continued from page 3 “We’re right in the middle of a historic season,” he says. “The April season exploded like no other season.” The demand for mulch — and the reduced supply caused by raw materials being diverted for biofuels — prompted Liffers for the first time to hire someone to handle procurement in order to source material. “We’re having to go further for supplies. We’re having to pay more for supplies. We’re having to deal with significantly more buyers to get the same amount of material,” he says. “Before, people would come to us. “There is a crisis going on right now,” he adds. “There is a shortage of mulch.” Spencer also laments the supply shortages and the higher prices. “It (BCAP) drastically affected the availability of wood fiber for our business,” he says. “For this season, we seem to have squeaked by. We have managed to keep our supply at the level sufficient to supply our demand this season but we have had to work a whole lot harder and turn over a lot more stones to find sources that we’ve never had to do before.” He reports that his company has also gone into the logging business. “We have purchased logging equipment and we’ve got people out in the woods harvesting treetops, trees that are too small for lumber, in order to bolster that supply,” he says. “That effort is accounting for about half our supply, which we have never done before.” While speculation continues about what the new rules may contain, there have been hints that the government’s push for advanced biofuels, renewable energy and biobased products may take precedence. “What we would like to see happen is they protect the mulch industry in some way so that this bill doesn’t destroy us all or run the price of mulch up to where it’s not competitive any more,” Spencer says. “We have to wait and see.”

Info Request #119 4

Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010


Missouri Residents Seek to Block Wood Burning Power Plants


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n 2008, Missouri voters approved a law to acquire 15 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2021, reports Energy producers responded by promising to build wood burning power plants that would provide electricity for thousands of homes, but now, many are trying to block the construction of these plants over concerns about the depletion of the Ozark forests, air pollution and harm to fresh water supplies. The list of opponents to these new plants includes state regulators, environmentalist, home owners and timber industry officials. In Perryville, Liberty Green Renewables (LGR) awaits approval from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for an air permit, so the company can begin construction of a new $120 million 32-megawatt plant, which could supply power for 23,000 homes. In Sedalia, ProEnergy intends to build a similar plant. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is encouraging its members to oppose these plants, claiming they would be new sources of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide. But many city leaders aren’t convinced, and feel that the plants would emit little more than steam. LGR, for example, uses a type of technology that limits plant emissions to 10 percent of the sulfur dioxide and other particulate matter produced by coal-fired plants. Whether or not the plants would endanger the Ozark forests seems to be a matter of scale. According to a study by the Missouri Forest Products Association, the state’s forests could sustain relatively small biomass plants without detriment to the environment. ProEnergy has proposed to build a plant in Salem capable of producing up to 20 megawatts. It would need about 300,000 tons of biomass annually, about twice the amount available in the Salem area.

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Info Request #153 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News




Mulch Producer NEWS


By P.J. Heller

hen it comes to equipment for mulch producers, there’s good news and bad news. The good: There are numerous companies offering a wide range of horizontal grinders, tub grinders, shredders and other equipment and accessories to serve the industry. The bad: There are numerous companies offering a wide range of horizontal grinders, tub grinders, shredders and other equipment and accessories to serve the industry. For mulch producers, the dilemma is having to sift through the brochures, Web sites and other materials to try to determine what equipment will best suit their needs. Horizontal or tub grinder? What capacity? Will the machine be able to handle future business growth? What about biomass applications? “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” advises Bob DeSousa, general manager at West Salem Machinery. “Look at what’s been successful and is utilized in the industry.” The other issue he stresses is a machine’s strength and durability. “Look at component sizes in a given machine, whether it be shaft diameters, bearing sizes, hammer weights, machine weights,” he says. “In the mulch industry you’re bringing in a wide range of materials that you do not control until it hits your plant floor. So it’s not a matter of ‘if’ there’s going to be something in that raw material pile that you didn’t anticipate, it’s just a matter of when and how often.” “There’s a variety of factors that go into selecting equipment,” says Todd

Dunderdale, director of sales at Komptech USA. “You’ve got to take a look at your incoming feedstock. What is your desired output? And it comes down to cost per ton. What is your operating cost, complete totally loaded operating cost? You can’t know what to sell it for it you don’t know what it costs to produce.” “Buy the most substantial grinder with the most horsepower that you can afford rather than undersizing your needs,” advises Brian Bergman, operations manager at CW Mill Equipment Co. He admits that “at the end of the day, it will come down to your budget.” Todd Roorda, environment solutions specialist with Vermeer Corp., agrees that budget constraints often influence buying decisions, but opting for the most substantial machine available should be the goal. “You could probably make yourself some mulch with a backyard wood chipper but if you’re going to be in the business, that wood chipper may not last you very long and it won’t be able to keep up,” he says. Ultimately, the end product that you are trying to produce (i.e. fuel pellets, wood chips or mulch) will determine the type of equipment you will need to purchase, whether it be grinding, chipping or shredding equipment. Although the demand for landscape mulch continues to be strong, manufacturers have recognized a shift in the market to an increased demand for biofuel. In response to this trend, many manufacturers have introduced new machines and attachments to meet market demand. Continued on next page

Info Request #154 6

Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010



Mulch Producer NEWS

Continued from previous page

The following companies, listed in alphabetical order, are among those that manufacture equipment for both mulch and biofuel production.

CW Mill Equipment Co.


Mill makes no bones about the capabilities of the grinders that it manufactures, describing them as “monsters.” Little wonder then that the company markets its line of diesel and electric powered grinders under the HogZilla name. “HogZilla grinders are monster grinders for solid waste reduction, wood recycling, land clearing, construction demolition, mulch production, tire processing or any other tough grinding application,” the company boasts. CW Mill, based in Sabetha, Kans., was started in 1974, with the HogZilla brand launched in the late 1980s to serve the needs of the wood products industry. Today, the company manufactures four series of tub and horizontal grinders, ranging from mid-size models with about 400 horsepower to the most popular 1,050 horsepower machines and beyond. “Because of the requirement to grind wood, you want a well built machine and as much horsepower  as  you  can  afford,”  says  Brian Bergman, operations manager. “Mulch producers are dealing in volume. It takes a pretty serious machine  to  service them.” Bergman says it is false economy for mulch producers to skimp on the purchase of a grinder.

“If they buy a newer light duty machine because it seems more affordable, they may be paying more for it over the long haul than if they had purchased a heavy duty machine, even a used machine, which would be more substantial to handle the work,” he says. “They should buy the most substantial grinder with the most horsepower that they can afford rather than buy an undersized unit.” HogZilla grinders include self-propelled track drive and self-loading units. “We’re widely known for our torque converter drive that provides more production capability and better protection for the grinder,” Bergman notes. The torque converter drive — widely used in the

rock crushing industry —allows the engine to always perform at peak efficiency with multiplied torque, Bergman explains. The converter carries a five year, 6,000 hour warranty. The company says the drive allows users to get “more production generating torque from the same engine burning the same fuel.” In addition, it says, the HogZilla grinder/ engine governor control system provides fuel savings by matching optimum power (fuel consumption) with changing load requirements to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption. CW Mill Equipment Co. 14 Commerce Drive Sabetha, KS 66534 Phone: (800) 743-3491

DuraTech Industries International


hen farmer and rancher Joe Anderson couldn’t find an affordable and suitably sized hay grinder for his livestock herd, he set out to solve the problem himself. From that simple effort in 1966 has emerged DuraTech  Industries  International,  a  major manufacturer  of  agricultural  and  industrial machinery. The company’s line of industrial equipment includes heavy-duty tub and horizontal grinders, ranging from a 9-foot, 325-horsepower tub grinder to its most recent offering, a 950-horsepower horizontal grinder with a 64-inch wide, 12,100 pound hammermill. Between those models are a range of mid-size grinders. Both trailer and trackmounted units are offered. Marketing manager Al Goehring says part of the success of DuraTech grinders is due to their unique features, notably self-cleaning screens rather than more conventional reversing fans. “All DuraTech grinders have enclosed engine compartments with self-cleaning rotary screens on  the  air  intake,”  he says. “Having the engine compartment enclosed and the air intake pre-screened helps  keep  the  engine compartment  clean  and keeps the radiator and oil

coolers clean, so there’s much less maintenance on the machine. It reduces the dirt and buildup on the engine for cleanup as well as the chance of a fire, since you don’t have much of a buildup on the  manifolds that are hot.” The enclosed engine compartment also helps reduce the engine noise. “It basically forces all the sound down and then that’s absorbed by the ground,” he notes. DuraTech was also a pioneer in developing oscillating stacking conveyors, Goehring says. The company, based in Jamestown, N.D., is pursuing the “emerging” biofuels market, according to Goehring. “It’s not there yet and there’s a lot to be learned there,” he says. “We are very interested in pursuing that market.” G o e h r i n g   s a y s   i t ’s important for mulch producers

to match a machine to their operation. “If you oversize your machine or undersize it, you’re not going to have the efficiency built in,” he advises. “It’s nice to sell a big grinder but it may not meet a customer’s requirements,” he says. “You might be able to get your grinding done in a hurry, but it’s not going to be economical and provide a return on investment. It’s not going to be a good fit.” DuraTech Industries International, Inc. P.O. Box 1940 Jamestown, ND 58401 Phone: (701) 252-4601 Continued on page 8 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News




Mulch Producer NEWS

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New Shredder, Grinder or Chipper Continued from page 7

Komptech USA Inc.


ith its corporate roots in Europe, Komptech USA describes itself as the complete “one-stop shop” for the waste industry. “We have the largest product line of anyone in the industry,” contends Todd Dunderdale, director of sales. “We do windrow turners, star screens, trommel screens, shakers, spreaders,  mixers,  chippers,  shredders, grinders. Anything that involves waste we can handle. “I would like people to think we are the one-stop shop when it comes to the waste industry,” he says. Komptech was founded in 1987 in Austria by Josef Heissenberger and Rudolf Pretzler as an engineering office for agricultural machinery. The U.S. sales organization in Lafayette, Colo., was opened in 2007. The company manufactures both chippers and shredders designed for the mulch market. Its Crambo Forest shreds wood down to mulch size; a screen deck under the shaft sifts dirt, needles and rock to produce a clean product in a single pass. That feature can be especially important to mulch producers who are working with forest slash, Dunderdale says.

Morbark, Inc


he motto of Morbark, Inc., — “building equipment that creates opportunities” — pretty much sums up the company’s success in serving the wood products industry. “The one thing that we focus on is matching solutions to our customer’s problems,” explains Chris Edmonds, assistant regional manager for the Western U.S. “We look to help the customer maximize opportunities with our machines.” To help mulch producers who may be affected by the slumping housing market, for example, Morbark has introduced its Quick Switch grinder-to-chipper conversion kit. The kit allows a Morbark horizontal grinder owner to easily convert the machine from a hammermill to a full chipping drum in order to produce highquality wood chips. Two configurations of the kit are available, one a 12 knife for making standard size chips, the other a 16 knife for making sawdust. The changeover takes about three to four hours. “Our  Quick  Switch allows grinder owners the opportunity  to  diversify their  product  offering without having to purchase a  second  machine,” Edmonds notes. “It  helps  open  up another revenue stream for 8

Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

In essence, he says, the Crambo Forest can be used in the field rather than requiring several machines to accomplish the job. The Crambo unit is available in mobile or stationary configurations. Both are dual

shaft shredders. Slow-running screws with shredding tools minimize fine particle and noise and dust emissions, and build up resistance to contamination, according to the company. Particle size is adjustable by simply exchanging screen baskets. A hydraulic drive with load-dependent speed control ensures maximum utilization of

mulch producers,” adds marketing manager Tim Adams. “This is a tremendous innovation for our customers,”  says John  Foote,  vice president  of  sales and  marketing. “The  Quick S w i t c h ’s   a b i l i t y to  change  from grinding to chipping and  back  creates opportunities  for horizontal  grinder owners  by  giving them new markets to supplement their grinding operations. “It is an ideal solution for anyone involved in, or wanting to be involved in, supplying biomass fuel,” he notes. The kit is just the latest in a long line of grinding, chipping  and  sawmill products — including five different sizes of horizontal grinders and six different sizes of tub grinders — manufactured by the Winn, M i c h . ,   c o m p a n y.   T h e company has been serving

motor output. Dunderdale says that the Crambo units are ideally suited for mulch producers. “Over the years people have gotten so conditioned to seeing mulch as a chip,” he says. “Actually mulch as a shred works very well because it allows better aeration in the root system.” The company’s Chippo series is designed for whole log chipping. Dunderdale says that rather than focus on high-speed grinders for the forestry business, Komptech views the market as a waste application. “We have a variety of different machines to handle a variety of waste streams,” he says. “It’s a different approach. The American approach is to throw a big engine in it and go out and use one machine to do everything, even though it’s not designed to do that. In Europe, there’s more attention to detail and design and specifically to design a machine for each application.” Komptech USA Inc. 1724 Majestic Drive #104 Lafayette, CO 80026 Phone: (720) 890-9090

the composting, mulch, forestry, recycling, tree care, biomass and sawmill markets since 1957. “The best machine for our customer has nothing  to  do with  grinding,” Edmonds says. “It has to do with his business  model, which one fits his level of business, his location, the contracts he has in hand and the product  to  be ground. “We work with out  customers  to find out their exact requirements,” he says. “We have multiple sizes of machines to fit their particular needs. We’re looking out for his success. If they’re successful, we’re successful. We want to make sure they have the right piece of equipment.” Morbark, Inc. 8507 S. Winn Road P.O. Box 1000 Winn, MI 48896 Phone (800) 831-0042

Continued on next page



Mulch Producer NEWS

Continued from previous page

Peterson Pacific Corp.


nable to find equipment suitable for their land clearing and construction needs led to the founding of Peterson Pacific Corp. “We were working on a lot of sites that had a big waste wood issue . . .” recalls Cody Peterson, son of the company founder and now product manager at the firm. “In reviewing the technology that was out there for grinding that type of material, it wasn’t that good so we saw a niche in the market for developing wood recycling equipment. We saw that there was a need for a different type of machinery, so we came out with a completely different style machine.” The rest, as they say, is history. To d a y,   t h e  E u g e n e,   Ore.,   company manufactures whole tree chippers and debarkers, horizontal grinders and blower trucks and trailers. Its first wood recycling machine was introduced in 1990, nine years after the company was founded. The company manufactures four basic size horizontal grinders all of which are available as track mounted or rubber tire units. Each of the four model lines is available in both diesel and electric configuration.  Its l a rg e s t   u n i t  c a n process  large

Screen USA, Inc.


est known for its wide range of screening equipment  —  including  trommel, shaker, star and box screens — Screen USA  recently  introduced  a  small  horizontal grinder  specifically  geared  for  small  volume applications. The  company’s  Hammerhead  grinder  is being  marketed  to  composters,  landscapers, landscape supply houses, utility companies and mulch manufacturers. “It’s not a stump grinder,” explains Rick Cohen, owner and president of the Smyrna, Ga., company. “It’s strictly for brush and wood 9 to 10 inches and smaller.” Screen USA, which started in 1973, has built its reputation on manufacturing niche products for the screening industry, and Cohen says the Hammerhead grinder is a niche product for the grinding industry. It is the first grinder offered by the company. “We’re trying to cater to customers who have been asking for a horizontal grinder but did not need the huge $400,000 to $500,000 grinders,” he says. The  grinder comes standard with

stumps which typically would require a tub grinder, according to the company. The grinders range from  475 horsepower up  to  950 horsepower. The grinders feature an innovative latching impact release system, which minimizes damage from contaminants such as metal in the feed material, according to Cody Peterson. The anvil and first grate open on a severe impact, allowing the contaminant to be ejected, and then re-latch to permit continuous grinding. The machines also offer a quick-change multiple  grate system,  allowing users  to  easily customize  grate configurations  to produce  a  wide variety of finished materials. Grates are removed  through an  access  door on the side wall.

The grinders  also feature  the company’s adaptive feed system which varies  the feed speed to the engine. “Rather than  start-stop,  you have a continuous flow,” Peterson explains. “In a mulch application, any time you unload the chamber and reload the chamber, you get some o v e r s i z e product that comes through. Having that consistent flow means a more consistent end product for the customer.” Peterson adds that the company’s focus is on manufacturing high-quality grinders of 450 horsepower or greater. “We would have a hard time producing a Chrysler and a Mercedes in the same facility,” he says.

a  Flexxaire reversing radiator fan to help prevent overheating and clogging. It  also features  a variable speed feeder that is wide enough —  4-feet, 5-inches — to handle pallets. A radio remote control is standard. C o h e n notes that the unit is extremely portable and with its electric braking axles can be pulled behind a one ton truck. “You can take it out and set it up in five minutes and be ready to go,” he says. While  other manufacturers  boast of  machines having 500  and  1,000 horsepower  motors, the Hammerhead only has a 140 horsepower engine. “It’s small for the industry,” Cohen admits, “but it’s all you

need for what it’s designed to do. “We don’t  have a  lot  of competition because everybody is making larger grinders,” he says.  “We decided to design a smaller one with a price tag that landscapers and composters can not only afford to buy, but to operate.” C o h e n notes that the grinder follows in the company tradition of developing innovative niche products. “We do not believe in making something that everybody and their brother makes,” he says. “Our whole theory of business is to make niche items — to come up with unique items, unique sizes — and to improve upon something so that we have a better machine than everyone else.”

Peterson Pacific Corp. 29408 Airport Road P.O. Box 40490 Eugene, OR 97402-9541 Phone: (541) 689-6520

Screen USA, Inc. 1772 Corn Road Smyrna, GA 30080 Phone: (770) 433-2440 Continued on page 10 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News




Mulch Producer NEWS

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New Shredder, Grinder or Chipper Continued from page 9

Vermeer Corporation


modified farm wagon with a hoist that was invented more than 60 years ago by Gary Vermeer has spawned an agricultural, construction,  environmental  and  industrial equipment manufacturing company. Among  the  Pella,  Iowa company’s numerous products are horizontal and tub grinders designed for mulch producers. Horizontal grinders, ranging from 250 to 1,050 horsepower, are available  as  conventional  towed models  or  self-propelled  track mounted units. The extra-long feed tables on the trailer-mounted grinders allow for loading of long material without additional cutting. A relatively new addition to the horizontal grinders is a product called the fuel chip attachment (FCA), which will allow the machines to produce wood chips for the biomass market. “The attachment allows customers to add it to the grinder to meet new markets,” explains Todd Roorda, environmental solutions specialist at Vermeer. “Each biomass end-user requires that their chips meet stringent specifications in terms of size,

West Salem Machinery


ith a 60-year history of wood reduction and screening, family-owned West Salem Machinery Co., prides itself on catering to the specific grinding needs of its customers. Founded in 1947 to originally serve sawmills, panel plants, pulp paper mills and the wood products industry, the company has expanded its offerings over the past two decades to meet applications including mulch, compost, recycling and construction demolition reduction. “We can go in and offer a turn-key engineered system as opposed to just supplying one  component, the grinder,” notes Bob  DeSouza, general  manager of the Salem, Ore., company. Rather  than take  a  “cookiecutter  approach” with only a handful of machines, West Salem  Machinery boasts  some  40 different  models of  reduction equipment, all of which feature a plethora of options

10 Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

shape and quality,” Roorda says. “This is important as an improperly sized or low-quality chip may adversely affect the efficiency of the furnace and overall facility operation. Our attachment

provides the flexibility needed to produce chips that meet varied specifications and helps create new opportunities for our customers.” In addition to the horizontal grinders, Vermeer offers tub grinders, in 440 and 100 horsepower configurations. They feature highcapacity discharge systems, one-pass grinding and are available with loader and non-loader options.

such as different rotor systems and hammer types. The company primarily offers fixed-site electric equipment. “We’re not a one-size-fits-all company,” DeSousa says. “We look at the application first and then go back and actually not only just  configure  the system,  but configure the actual grinder to optimize its performance on a species of wood or a size of wood. It’s a solution that caters to the customer’s specific requirements. “We factor in not just the capacity of the material but the species, the piece size, the fiber geometry,” he notes. “We have a test lab so customers can send us samples and we will do grinds and sieve analysis to show exactly what we can give them. When we do get the job, everybody knows exactly what it is that the customer wants and what the customer is going to receive.” One of the machines recently developed — a 48-inch diameter with an 88-inch

Both horizontal and tub grinders incorporate Vermeer’s duplex drum system, which the company says offers a 35 percent increase in rotational inertia with a 10 percent weight reduction. It also offers an operator the ability to change out any individual hammer within minutes without removing other hammers. The hammers also reverse for nearly double the life span, and the drum skin adds life by protecting them from wear and tear, the company says. To provide customer service, the company touts its nationwide dealer network. “We recognize at Vermeer that the sale is only half of the relationship with a customer,” Roorda says. “It’s the service that has to follow after the sale that keeps the customer happy in the long run.” Vermeer Corporation 1210 Vermeer Road East Pella, Iowa 50219 Phone: 641-621-7996

wide rotored hammermill — is believed to be one of the largest hammermills currently offered. It is designed “to satisfy some of these higher capacity fine-grind applications,” DeSousa says. In addition to the mulch industry, West Salem has a long history of  manufacturing equipment for woodfired energy plants. With the advent of new biomass plants, the company has invested heavily in the testing and development of equipment specific to those emerging fuel products, he says. For mulch producers looking for grinders, DeSousa recommends looking at equipment manufacturers with experience and machinery that is durable and reliable. “There’s no substitute for strength and durability built into a machine,” he says. West Salem Machinery Co. 665 Murlark Ave. NW P.O. Box 5288 Salem, OR 97304 Phone: (800) 722-3530


Michigan Company’s Grinder Featured in Hit Reality Show


45-ton grinder is the newest star of “Swamp Loggers,” the Discovery Channel’s popular reality show that airs on Tuesday nights, reports themorningsun. com. The grinder, which is manufactured by the Michigan-based company Bandit Industries is called The Beast. Now The Beast can add “TV star” to its resume. “Swamp Loggers” follows the day-today exploits of Goodson’s All Terrain Logging, Inc. and its team of loggers as they ply their trade in soggy woodlands of North Carolina. The Beast will be featured on the show throughout the current season, helping the swamp loggers tackle some of the toughest working conditions imaginable. The show’s cameramen capture The Beast from a number of angles as it chews up a variety of woody material. Bandit Industries’ products are sold across the globe, and in 2010 they were named Trader of the Year by the West Michigan World Trade Association – an award for businesses that demonstrate commitment to bring international trade to the region.



Mulch Producer NEWS

Linn County, OR Partners with Allied Waste for Food Waste Compost Program


esidents of Linn County in Oregon will soon benefit from a new food waste recycling program thanks to a new partnership between the county and Allied Waste, reports Food waste will be picked up curbside weekly and transported to the Pacific Region Compost Facility, a two-acre site near Adair Village, for composting. The facility has received food waste from area restaurants since last November. Meat and dairy products, vegetables, fruit and other food waste will be picked up curbside each week to avoid odor issues. Once the materials reach the composting site they will be sorted and mixed with ground-up wood waste and yard debris. The mixed material will be heaped in 80-foot long 8-foot high windrows to cook for about 45 days. It will then be cured, screened, tested and decomposed for 75 days before being sold as a soil amendment for $12 a yard. The facility is a much needed option for recyclers. Currently, Portland trucks haul waste all the way to Seattle for recycling. The Adair facility cuts travel in half.


n the March/April edition of Soil & Mulch Producer News, we featured a cover article titled: Biomass Makes the Grade for Renewable Energy Producers. In that article (see page 4, paragraph 3) we mistakenly stated that “CRER has a 10-year stewardship contract with the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests Service in Arizona”. This statement was incorrect and should read: “Future Forest has a 10-year stewardship contract with Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona”. If you would like more information about Future Forest and their stewardship contract with Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests, please refer to their website at

Info Request #156

Info Request #136 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News 11



Mulch Producer NEWS

North Carolina in Fight Over Wood Burning Power Plants


Info Request #144 reports that environmental advocates are fighting Duke Energy company over its plans to burn wood at two of its coal-fired power plants. They are claiming the plants will endanger North Carolina’s forests. Duke has tested wood burning furnaces at plants it owns in Rowan County, but has not yet begun using them to generate energy in earnest. The test furnaces burned whole trees which were cut into chips. The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) issued a legal challenge last month with the hope of making the state’s trees off limits for burning. SELC and other environmental advocacy groups fear increased logging to feed the needs of utilities will decimate North Carolina’s forests. But if trees are made off limits it could endanger the ability of Duke Energy and other utilities to reach the state’s mandate of deriving 12.5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2021. Duke officials say they don’t know for sure what forms of wood they would burn at their plants, but would like to maintain the ability to burn whole trees if desired. They claim that excluding whole trees “would severely limit the ability of our utilities and potential investors in biomass power production to use biomass resources.” The state Environmental Management Commission (EMC) agrees with the SELC that using whole trees for energy production would make a significant impact on the environment. The EMC advises that whole trees should only be burned if they are harvested under strict standards. Robert Abt, an economist with N.C. State University, says forest products can generate half the state’s renewable energy, but adds that wood debris can’t supply it all. Without whole trees, he says, only about half the state’s portfolio standards can be met. Abt adds that prices will rise for pulpwood if it was allowed to be burned for energy, which would be a boon for forest owners.

Exposure to Compost Piles Could Lead to Serious Respiratory Ailments


he UK Health and Safety Executive recently revealed the results of comprehensive study on the potentially detrimental health effects of working in close proximity to compost, reports According to the study, employees working too close to compost piles for too long can be exposed to large concentrations of harmful bioaerosols. If not protected, workers could develop serious respiratory ailments. The report claims that health risks are reduced significantly at between 50 to 100 meters downwind from the source. Closer distances, however, could expose unprotected workers to colonies of airborne bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, endotoxins and bioaerosols – airborne particles produced by living organisms. Interestingly, the UK research team found that in-vessel composting systems generate just as many harmful airborne particles as open windrows.

Denver Airport Launches Composting Program

A Info Request #151 12 Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

fter the success of a pilot program begun last year, Denver International Airport (DIA) is ready to take off with a new organic waste composting program, reports DIA will team up with A-1 Organics to set up 65-gallon containers for the airport’s employee break rooms and restaurants in the Jeppesen Terminal. Janell Barrilleaux, DIA’s director of environmental programs, says “We’re thrilled to be moving forward with a permanent composting project at DIA… this new program will allow us to compost organic waste that would otherwise end up in Denver’s landfills.”


NSWMA Weighs In on New York Food Waste Composting Bill


ecently, the New York City Chapter of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) submitted its comments to the New York City Council’s Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee regarding a proposed food waste composting bill that calls for a study and pilot program for composting waste, reports The bill would also allow the NYC Business Integrity Commission (BIC) to alter its rate cap; effectively allowing city officials to reduce the tip fee for source separated compostable waste. The NSWMA says the pilot program is unnecessary since licensed haulers already collect compostable materials from NYC restaurants and other waste generators for delivery to facilities in New Jersey, upstate New York and Connecticut. The Association argues that city officials could simply gauge the experience of these haulers to learn about the challenges and costs of managing a food waste composting program. It also argues that reducing the BIC rate cap will not reduce the amount of food waste from generators. The NSWMA wants the city to instead do away with the rate cape claiming it distorts the market for commercial waste services in the city. The NSWMA’s chair says the bill creates the wrong kind of economic incentive for generators of compostable waste and that market forces should determine the price of composting material. He adds that the program would require additional trucks for collection and further distances to dispose of it, reducing some of its environmental benefits.

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Study Reveals Scope of North American Forest Loss


new study released by South Dakota State University (SDSU) claims that the greatest loss of forest cover between 2000 and 2005 was not in South America’s rain forests, as one might expect, but in North America’s boreal forests, reports Using satellite imagery, the SDSU team found that North America had the greatest area of gross forest cover loss (GFCL), accounting for 30 percent of worldwide totals. Combined, North and South America accounted for half of the globe’s GFCL. The greatest causes of GFCL in North America, says the SDSU team, were logging (60 percent) and fires (40 percent), followed by insects and disease. Researchers do add, however, that their study in no way indicates recovery rates.


Hogged hardwood material. Can be used for mulch, boiler fuel, Etc.

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Mulch Producer NEWS


Price and financials will be supplied to interested buyers.


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Info Request #152 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News 13



Mulch Producer NEWS

University Studies Wood Waste-Based Construction Materials


Info Request #105

Composting Performance Offering the Best “Food waste is very dense, so pre-processing it before it goes into the windrow is crucial. We were looking for a machine that would enable us to size-reduce the corrugated cardboard and paper and blend it with the food scraps. After watching the ROTO-MIX horizontal mixer reduce the particle size as quickly as it does, I was impressed. Additional advantages to the horizontal unit is that it can be loaded quickly and mixed faster than a vertical mixer”.

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Info Request #104 14 Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

ech Muszynski, assistant professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State University, and his team have begun seeking funding for a study of the potential commercialization of wood waste-based construction materials, reports Each year, lumber mills produce tons upon tons of wood waste in the form of bark, branches and twigs that Muszynski says can be turned into a kind of “flour”that, when combined with thermoplastic, makes a durable composite hybrid material suitable for highway infrastructure. The hybrid material is an environmentally friendly alternative to structures made from metal, concrete, petroleum-based plastic and more expensive woods, such as mileposts, sound walls and dividers. Though the hybrid material is petroleumbased, it contains a relatively small amount of plastic. OSU is currently conducting a pilot study of pavement markers made from the hybrid material. The OSU research team seeks to identify cost savings, the correct ratios of wood waste flour to plastic and reactions to contact with the ground and exposure to UV rays. According to Muszynski, the process of creating the hybrid material is uncomplicated. ODOT has already expressed interest.

Proposed Biomass Plant Faces Opposition in Maryland


proposed $250 million, 60-megawatt power plant to be built by Adage LLC in Mason County, Maryland is facing opposition from citizens over air pollution concerns, reports The plant would reportedly burn wood waste collected from the forest floor to generate electricity. Though the county has ample supplies of easily accessible wood waste and the plant would create much needed jobs, some citizens fear the human health and environmental costs would be too great. Adage has applied for an air pollution permit and will file an environmental assessment this summer. The company claims to be trying to build good faith by keeping its intentions about the project out in the open. It intends to lease roughly 100 acres for the new plant and has already secured more than 600,000 tons of wood to feed the plant. According to one engineer for the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, the plant will only be approved if Adage can prove that it can meet EPA air quality standards.



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Info Request #116 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News 15



Mulch Producer NEWS

Participation in PSU Food Recycling Program Grows


ccording to public works officials, participation in Penn State University’s curbside food recycling pilot program is on the rise, reports In one month, 56 residences and ten businesses joined the program, which is touted as the first of its kind on the East Coast. The program, which recycles food scraps, coffee grinds and other household waste materials, averages 12.3 pounds per pickup. Materials are picked up twice a week. Thus far the program has diverted a reported 33,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill. The material is composted and eventually sold commercially. The pilot program is funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Food Composting Plant Closed Over Lawsuit


Info Request #155

lawsuit filed against Converted Organics (CO) has forced the company to close its Woodbridge, New Jersey food composting facility, reports The suit, which was filed last May, alleged that odors emanating from the facility were creating a public and private nuisance. CO was forced to pay more than $87,000 in penalties to the Middlesex County Health Department in connection with the complaints. CO President Edward Gildea says he believes the odor issues had been addressed with recent equipment upgrades and says his company has made every effort to be a valued member of the community by providing jobs and recycling food waste. CO produced organic soil amendments and fertilizers using a proprietary high temperature liquid composting system.

Info Request #107 16 Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

WE’RE WILDLY CONSISTENT. Wildcat trommel screens and compost turners can help you produce a consistent end product. For nearly 40 years, Wildcat Manufacturing has been helping operators exceed their wildest expectations. Our products are powerful, productive, and backed by an industry-leading dealer network committed to your satisfaction. From trommel screens to compost turners, we design and build equipment you can count on day after day. It’s easy to operate, easy to service, and the easy choice when you need high performance and consistent end product.

Call your nearest dealer or visit today!

The WILDCAT LOGO is a trademark of Wildcat Mfg. Co, Inc. VERMEER is a trademark of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the United States and / or other countries. © 2010 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Info Request #141 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News 17



Mulch Producer NEWS

Fuel Costs Hinder Northwest Wood Burning Utility


n Kettle Falls, Washington, the steam furnaces roar at a generating station operated by Avista Corp. producing electricity to power nearly 40,000 homes in Washington and British Columbia, reports The station burns wood waste at a searing 2,500 degrees, creating steam that turns energy-generating turbines. At least for now it does. Despite being located in the timber belt of the Selkirk Mountains, home to dozens of sawmills and logging operations, the Avista Corp. station has a serious problem obtaining enough wood waste to keep the furnaces roaring. The problem, explains Avista power supply analyst John Lyons, isn’t that the Northwest has suddenly run out of waste wood. It’s the high cost of fuel to grind up low value wood and then truck it out of the mountains. When fuel costs rise too high, Avista is forced to shut down its operation, sometimes for weeks at a time. On a per-kilowatt basis, it costs Avista more money to produce electricity at its Kettle Falls station than it does at the company’s dams or from its coal-burning and gas fired plants. “The Western US is biomass rich, but it’s still about fuel,” says David Naccarato of the biomass firm McKinstry Co. “Can you get it in reasonable quantities and affordable costs? That hasn’t been solved yet.” The Kettle Falls station burns approximately 70 tons of wood waste for each hour it generates electricity. Because it needs such a high volume, fueling the station is a challenge. Timber industry downturns have made obtaining wood waste more difficult. To cope, Avista has begun buying wood waste from mills in British Columbia and working with loggers to salvage treetops and limbs that would otherwise be burned in slash piles. Most of the station’s wood waste is sourced within a 100-mile radius. Any farther than 100 miles and the waste becomes prohibitively expensive.


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Info Request #128 18 Soil & Mulch Producer News  May / June 2010

Waste In, Products Out High volume wood waste recyclers know that when it comes to creating the highest volume products at the lowest cost per ton, nothing reduces urban wood waste, stumps, or brush like a Peterson horizontal grinder!

Just one look at a Peterson can show you why we build the most innovative grinders in the market. For nearly thirty years, Peterson’s attention to detail and drive to build the highest quality, highest volume producing machines make a Peterson a sure investment. Want to see what a Peterson Horizontal Grinder can do? Give us a call at 800.269.6520 or visit us at








800-269-6520 • • PO BOX 40490 • Eugene, OR 97404 Info Request #127 May / June 2010   Soil & Mulch Producer News 19

6075 Hopkins Road • Mentor, OH 44060 Ph: 440-257-6453 • Fax: 440-257-6459 Email: VOL. IV NO. 3

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Inside This Issue Irate Mulch Industry Awaits New Rules on Biomass Subsidy Program PAGE 1

SPECIAL FEATURE: Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New Shredder, Grinder or Chipper PAGE 6 North Carolina in Fight Over Wood Burning Power Plants PAGE 12 University Studies Wood Waste-Based Construction Materials PAGE 14 Fuel Costs Hinder Northwest Wood Burning Utility PAGE 18

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Soil & Mulch Producer News - May/June 2010  

Soil & Mulch Producer News May/June Issue

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Soil & Mulch Producer News May/June Issue