LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2013) – A new public/private partnership between Louisville Metro Parks and Recast Energy Louisville LLC will benefit taxpayers while also helping the environment.
Under the new partnership, tons of wood waste generated in city parks each year will be sold to Recast to be converted to thermal energy instead of going to the landfill.
The relationship with Recast will save Metro Parks an estimated $20,000 to $25,000 annually in disposal and wood processing costs, related to the approximately 600 to 1,000 tons of logs accumulated each year.
While Parks will continue to grind down smaller pieces of wood waste for mulch, playground surface areas and other uses in parks, it will no longer need to rent the equipment necessary to handle logs larger than 18 inches – those will be processed by Recast. In addition, Recast will pay Parks for the waste wood it supplies, generating an estimated $7,000 to $12,000 in revenue.
Eventually, other city departments may also take advantage of the contract and provide wood waste to Recast.
“This is a great public/private partnership and a smart environmental move that pays off for our community in three different ways,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “It saves taxpayer dollars in dealing with the huge amount of wood we accumulate each year; it keeps that wood out of the landfill; and it provides cleaner, alternative energy for local companies.”
The need for sustainable solutions to wood waste will grow as the community braces for an increase in the number of trees affected by the emerald ash borer. Parks officials expect that damage from the insect could boost the amount of waste wood to three times the current levels.
The Louisville Tree Advisory Commission has a goal of expanding the city’s tree canopy and replacing as many trees as possible that are lost to age, disease or severe weather.