STR has developed an extensive wood recycling program in South Lake Tahoe, diverting natural vegetation and milled wood for beneficial use. Clean forest products, including processed slash and clean pine needles are now marketed for soil erosion and stabilization projects around the Tahoe Basin, reducing the introduction of non-native seeds and harmful weeds into the Basin. Agencies like the California Department of Transportation and South Tahoe Public Utility District have taken the lead by prioritizing use of these materials in their contract specifications. Although we are still building these markets, the program is proving cost effective. The remainder of our natural vegetation and all of our milled wood are sent to regional composting projects with Bently Agrowdynamics and Full Circle Compost in the Carson Valley.
The opening of the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) in 2009 doubled our capacity to recycle wood and yard waste. Selected residential green waste routes and self-haul from contractor and
landscapers have steadily increased the volumes recycled.
Our wood program also supports local Fire Departments and Fire Safe Councils efforts to reduce fuel loading in the Tahoe basin. Chips and slash from agency thinning projects from forest and urban lots are accepted at the RRF, processed and transported directly for composting. Christmas trees are collected by STR and chipped at the RRF shortly after the holidays. STR diverts over 5,000 tons of wood waste each year, including milled wood, slash, stumps and pine needles.
STR has established business plans with Full Circle Compost and Bently Agrowdynamics in the Carson Valley. These plans solidify working relationships developed over the past decade supporting the development of regional composting facilities in the Valley, assuring a long term recycling plan for wood and vegetation material. Other beneficial materials, such as sludge, food and grocery green waste, are potential candidates for diversion via these compost projects.
Clean loads of natural vegetation, including pine needles, slash, leaves, grass clippings, as well as milled wood, including clean construction wood, pallets and other non-treated wood. No sod. Nails and hinges OK. No large pieces of metal. All materials recycled at this facility are used for composting and revegetation projects.
Photo by: Jennifer Ward, Customer Service Representative