It's Fort Worth, so city finds savings in its animal dung

Posted Monday, Jan. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- It's Fort Worth. There was bound to be creative thinking for ways to better manage the city's animal dung.

Under Fort Worth's new contract with Republic Waste Services to collect recyclable material from city facilities, Republic will haul off the tons of animal bedding and manure collected annually during shows at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

The contract covers all animal shows except the Fort Worth Stock Show, which manages its own droppings. Republic will haul the city's material to compost instead of to the southeast landfill, where it went before.

Not that dung is necessarily bad for a landfill, compared with some of what Fort Worth's human residents toss. But it saves the city space in the landfill, about 7 to 10 tons per load, said Val Familo, a Fort Worth contract services administrator.

Kevin Kemp, the assistant city director over public events, said, "It's a shame when there's other uses for that product besides throwing it in a landfill."

The new contract is part of a city review of how Fort Worth residents and businesses dispose of trash. Mayor Betsy Price touted the manure program Wednesday night during a local sustainability conference headlined by former Austin Mayor Will Wynn.

A secondary benefit to the new contract: It will cost Fort Worth $195 to have Republic pick up a 30-cubic-yard, open-top, roll-off container full of trash. But compost debris: $165.

If a horse show generates 45 pickups, that's a savings of $1,350, Familo estimated.

"We're more concerned with keeping material out of the landfill," she said.

How much material? The city's not sure yet.

City employees shovel the manure for the Stock Show, which has a contract with a hauler to take it off. During the 2011 23-day Stock Show, the city diverted 1,576 tons of recycling and compost from the landfill, Kemp said.

For National Cutting Horse Association shows, three times a year at Will Rogers at 23 days per show, the city has hauled 35 to 45 30-cubic-yard containers to the landfill per show, Kemp estimated. And that's just waste generated from the cattle pens, he said.

City workers will handle the recycling process the same way they handle the Stock Show's, picking up trash first, then shoveling bedding and manure into containers for pickup. The challenge will be to make sure the manure isn't contaminated by trash, Kemp said.

Scott Nishimura,


Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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