The George Town Landfill has a new addition – a horizontal wood grinder Caterpillar C15 2680, a.k.a. The Beast, which will be used to mulch vegetation waste.
Dozens of spectators and gardeners turned out Saturday morning to watch The Beast devour 1,500 Christmas trees in a mulch free-for-all at the George Town cricket field.
Kelly Reineking was among those on hand for the free mulch. She said the material is “going to be extremely useful” for her mango, cherry and sweetsop trees. Ms. Reineking plans to leave the mulch covered for about six months before applying it, to neutralize the acidity from the pine needles.
Mulch suppresses weeds and helps soil retain moisture.
The Beast was making its inaugural appearance at the annual event for the Department of Environmental Health.
The department purchased the machine, which will have a permanent home at the landfill, to use on vegetation waste, which takes up about 30 percent of the dump.
Clive Bodden, managing director for Atlantic Supply Ltd., which sold the machine to the Department of Environmental Health, said The Beast is capable of eating logs 12 inches in diameter without any problems.
“You’re taking a huge volume of vegetation and reducing that volume tremendously, so it’s taking up less space in the landfill,” he said.
Billy Adam, who collected a garbage container full of mulch on Sunday, said the demand for the materials showed that the machine needed to be brought into the community more often.
“This should be going on every day, not just as a one-off. There are tons of horticultural cuttings going into the landfill and it is just making ‘Mount Trashmore’ higher. All that should be mulched and made available to gardeners and farmers.”
He said the government had previously bought mulching machines which had been underutilized. He believes if the new machine is made more widely available it could prolong the lifespan of the rapidly filling George Town Landfill.
Compass reporter James Whittaker contributed to this story.