Dec 5, 2012

Topsoil from waste

James of Grand Haven asked, "What happens to all the leaves that get either picked up or collected by the local public works departments? Do they burn them somewhere?"


You will be pleasantly surprised to hear that, in Northwest Ottawa County, the tons of leaves and yard debris collected each fall are put to an environmentally friendly reuse.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Grand Haven Board of Light & Power, Verplank Dock Co., the local Chamber of Commerce, cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Township, and Spring Lake village and township have formed a partnership to create a product out of the leaves and the tons of material dredged from the bottom of Grand Haven's inner harbor to clear the shipping lane. It's called Bottoms Up Topsoil.

It all started when the Corps of Engineers was looking for a new place to deposit the dredged harbor sediment. It used to be deposited off the beaches and, years ago, on Harbor Island.

Civic leaders got together a few years ago and came up with the topsoil solution. It's created by storing the dredged sediment at Verplank Dock to dewater, then later mixing it with the compost created from the leaf collections. Originally called Earth Renewed, Bottoms Up Topsoil is sold for landscaping for both home and commercial use.

A real win-win situation, wouldn't you say?

If you'd like more information about Bottoms Up, call the Verplank Dock Co. at 616-842-1448.

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