Moving past the storm: Where does all the debris go?

    8:03 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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    Photo Gallery: Storm Debris Pick Up
    Storm debris leftover from December's winter storm. (Photo: Steve Payne, KTHV)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Residents in Little Rock and all around central Arkansas are still dealing with the effects of last month's winter storm.

    Six days a week, city crews fill dump trucks up with limbs and branches. Scoop after scoop takes away a constant reminder of the storm that hit Christmas Day, but where is it all going?

    THV 11 tracked the mess to the city's solid waste Landfill. Warren Atkins, Solid Waste Manager for Little Rock, said that's where mounds of debris are piling up.

    "We're averaging around over 100 tons a day of yard waste coming in from the limb pickup," he said. "It comes in. We have a large grinder, we're able to grind all the material. Then, we'll be able to either sell it back as mulch to individuals or landscapers."

    A front-end loader drops yard waste into a hopper, onto a conveyer system, and then pushes it through a grinder. Finally, the machine shoots mulch out the other end.

    "We're able to feed a 6-and-a-half yard bucket. It probably only takes two or three minutes for that to get through there and then another six and a half yards comes in behind that," Atkins explained. "I have one man running the loader, who also runs the grinder at the same time, so he's running a million dollars worth of equipment while he's sitting in that cab loading."

    While crews continue to bring in one truck load after another, the city is making headway. Atkins said their goal is to recycle all those limbs and branches.

    "What you're seeing here right now probably take us half a day to grind that small amount there, but there's a lot more sitting on the street that will be coming in."

    Individuals and landscapers can contact the city's public works department for pick-up times and prices if you're interested in buying some mulch.

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