Mountain Of Mulch To Move From Park

Thursday, February 14th 2008, 7:42 pm
By: News On 6

A city contractor started moving the mulch on Friday from Johnson Park.  It's the first disposal of any of the limbs picked up over the last 39 days.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports the city plans to move this mountain of mulch.

It's a milestone for the clean-up and there was another one on Friday, the city announced the first pass of limb pickup is about done and the second pass begins on Monday.

The truck loads of limbs continue to arrive at Johnson Park.  It's the main drop point for storm debris picked up by city contractors.

The pile of limbs grew until the grinding started and then the mountain of mulch started building while the city waited on state permission to do something with it.

"The reduction contractor has been grinding the stuff, but we haven't been able to move it," said Dan Crossland, City of Tulsa.

Now, the mountain is moving to a pit west of Sand Springs.

The state permit was approved and now a contractor is hauling all of the mulch, using a fleet of trucks that are just now arriving in Tulsa.

Now that the disposal has begun, one of the last great questions is how much of the stuff is there.  According to the latest city estimates, even with big trucks, there could be 7,500 loads of wood chips.

"My boss just told me I would be sitting on this dozer for the next four months, 12 hours a day, seven days a week," said Joe Vanfossen, Dozer Operator.

The steaming mulch is dumped on the edge of a large pit that was dug out so the soil could be sold.  Now it's going to be reclaimed, by mixing layers of ground up limbs with soil and letting it rot.

"It'll compost in a while, if we get it mixed in with dirt enough, get it packed in tight and it will be just like natural ground," said Vanfossen.

This final step will take months, even as the city continues to pick up limbs back in Tulsa.

The grinder reduces to the volume by 4 to 1, so for every four loads of limbs that come in one load goes out to Sand Springs.