It's Fort Worth. There was bound to be a better way to manage our animal dung.
Under Fort Worth’s new contract with Republic Waste Services to collect recyclable material from city facilities, Republic will haul off 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 maintains province over its own droppings. Republic will haul the city’s material to compost instead of to the Southeast landfill, where it’s gone previously.
Not that dung is necessarily bad for a landfill, compared to some of what Fort Worth’s human residents toss. But it saves the city space in the landfill, about seven to 10 tons per load, Val Familo, a Fort Worth contract services administrator, said.
"It’s a shame when there’s other uses for that product besides throwing it in a landfill," Kevin Kemp, the city’s assistant director over public events.
The new contract is part of a broader city review of how Fort Worth residents and businesses dispose of their 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. For 2011’s 23-day Stock Show, the city diverted 1,576 tons of recycling and compost from the landfill, Kemp said.
For the National Cutting Horse Association shows, three times a year at Will Rogers at 23 days per show, the city has hauled between 35 and 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 shovelling 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, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter