May 19, 2010

Black Gold Treasures

Before ICP's black gold is loaded into the trucks of eager customers, it is sent through a trommel screener to remove any large particles that may have survived the 9 month curing period intact. What's left is called the "overs".
Before the overs can be trucked off site, they must be re-screened.  The smaller particles that fall through the screen are christened with the technical sounding name "2 inch minus" and are used as clean fill. The new overs, the really big particles, are simply identified as "the gnarly stuff". And they get some special attention.
Several individuals line up on a conveyor belt which catches the gnarly stuff as it falls from the trommel. As material passes, we "pick" any trash from the rocks, branches, and other non-compostable organic debris. Common items include plastic straws and cutlery (which come in with our cafeteria foodwaste), horseshoes (which come in with our manure), and plastic toys (which presumably come in with our yardwaste). We keep the horseshoes (they're lucky), send the trash to a landfill, and truck the big rocks and organic matter off site, with a permit, to be used in various construction projects.
Some people REALLY hate picking at ICP. But (and maybe this is because I do it so infrequently, or maybe because it makes me feel a little like garbage archeologist William Rathje) I kind of enjoy it.  What can I say? I find trash rather fascinating. Hope you enjoyed the treasures, too!


  1. Your fascination with trash could be hereditary because I felt the same way when visiting the city dump (as landfills used to be called) in my youth. In those days we could wander thru the scrap and take whatever had value. I remember "mining" for postage stamps which in those days could be soaked off the envelopes!
    I enjoyed your romp thru the scrap heap!
    Love, Granddad

  2. Hi Granddad! I'm glad you liked it, too! Speaking of trash and heredity, did you hear about Mom and Lindsay's crazy trip to the dump? If not, make them tell you on their next visit.
    I love you!