Bag Those Clippings
75% of commercial lawn mowing companies bag their clippings and dispose of them at landfills to the tune of 28 million acres of clippings each week.
- Grass clippings can now be fermented (ensiled) using the BioPac'r into a high value livestock feed. 2000 lbs of grass clippings ensile into 2000 lbs of livestock feed valued up to $140/ton (depending on current market value of Dairy Quality alfalfa)
- The groomed appearance of a lawn that is bagged is picture perfect.
- Lawn professionals can stripe the lawns to give them the appearance of a major league baseball field.
- Incidences of lawn disease are sharply reduced because the disease spores that form on the grass blades are vacuumed up and not allowed to reinfect ("replant") additional disease pockets back into the turf.
- Incidences of lawn insects are reduced because the additional thatch that accumulates from leaving all those clippings on the lawn become an insect harbor regardless of what mulching mower companies claim.
- Can be used to make compost. 2000 lbs of grass clippings create $8 worth of compost.
- Biogas is a total FAIL, the gas produced from 2000 lbs of grass clippings is worth less than a penny.
Grasscycling or Mulching
15% of commercial lawn mowing companies in the US recycle or mulch the lawn clippings back to the surface of the lawn. Before I get a bunch of hate mail, in most areas of the country, mulching is a no go due to the increased disease and insect issues. In a few areas of the south, mulching may make up 100% of grass handling options because there is no place to discard them.
Advantages of Mulching
- Clippings are left on the lawn save a mowing company the need to handle them any further.
- Makes the operator feel like they are doing the environment a big service. In fact, reducing fertilizer needs when returning clippings to the turf is a myth perpetuated by the mulching mower industry and universities to divert green waste away from landfills.
- Homeowners that have their lawns mulched will be very helpful in increasing local pesticide sales to combat the additional insect and disease issues that can be a result of leaving the clippings on the lawn (economic advantage to hardware stores).
- Lets not forget the windrows that happen when mulching when the dew is heavy on the grass but that just means the lawn will need to be mowed twice, increasing the overtime landscapers get to pay their employees.
5% of lawns in the US are collected by mowing contractors and this biomass is used in the production of compost.
Advantages of Composting
- Lawn clippings are being bagged !, (see advantages of bagging grass clippings above)
- Compost piles allow landscapers to buy and maintain large equipment (toys) required to turn over the piles on a weekly basis.
- Composting is the perfect add-on service for "loner" landscapers or landfills that don't want their downwind neighbors showing up to their summer Bar-B-Ques due to the compost piles offensive odor.
- Composting is very labor intensive so it increases labor charges and adds low paying jobs during the summer.
- Composting also increases Workers Comp Claims which keeps additional State Employees busy.
The Future of Grass Clippings
So there you have it, a few competing ideas for the use of lawn clippings. The way we see it, a new 100 year supply of natural gas is discovered everyday so biogas will not catch on. Compost only makes flowerbeds look prettier but contaminated ground water at the same time but bagged lawn clippings have the potential to feed one billion additional head of livestock, doubling the USA meat and dairy production over night once we can get a Pac'r into the hands of all the turf managers.
The World Food Organization claims we need to double food production by 2050 or starve as a planet. Id like to lobby therefore, that lawn clippings used to feed livestock is a greater goal to reach and BioPac'r will pave the way. It will take public and private cooperation to finally bring city folks into production agriculture as a partner and not just as the consumer. We are working with a multitude of state, county and city recycling centers and landfills operators to attempt to divert up to 75% of all grass clipping waste, otherwise headed to landfills over the next 10 years.
If you are a decision maker, mover and shaker or a pioneer at heart, contact us at Info@biopacr.com about your possibilities.
Until Next Time