Turning Trash into Home Heating Blocks

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PAXINOS -- A business in Northumberland County is investing money and time for the power to save the environment and to help heat your homes.

Forget about putting another log on the fire, Jeff Kurtz put on another of his new creations blocks, made out of recycled cardboard.  You can burn them in a campfire or to heat your home

"People burn it like coal, blocks break apart looks like a coal fire going, you throw three or four more on and you're good for another three or four hours," said Jeff Kurtz, of Jeff's Auto Body & Recycling.

It all starts with tons and tons of cardboard from Con Agra Foods in Milton. This type of cardboard is covered in wax, common in the food industry, but usually destined for landfills.

Kurtz is able to shred it easily at Jeff's Auto Body and Recycling near Paxinos, but cardboard recycling plants reject it because the wax clogs their systems.

Kurtz sees it as a perfect fuel.

"It's like the cardboard is the wick of the fire and the wax is the fuel," said Kurtz.

But to make sure it has a long-lasting burn, all that shredded wax cardboard has to be compressed.

And with a system he designed, Kurtz is creating the burnable blocks.

Jeff says, "that's all cardboard and wax. No additives, no binders no nothing in that."

The blocks are packaged in $5.00 bags for those wanting to fuel a campfire.

A half ton skid goes for $240, the equivalent of a ton or more of coal, a cord or more of wood.

Creating energy out of what most see as trash.

"So it's a good environmental thing.  We're just trying to make an economical price for it so people can afford to heat their home with it," said Kurtz.

And Kurtz and his wife Kathy used it to heat their home first.

"I love it, i can handle it myself. I don't have to worry about hauling the wood in, the big pieces of wood. I pick up a few blocks and take them to the basement," said Kathy Kurtz, Jeff's wife.

"It's saving a lot of money.  Our electric bill was sky-high and it cut it in half," said Kurtz.

And Jeff Kurtz hopes to soon see his creation burning in more and more homes, freeing up more and more landfill space.


  • Jeff Kurtz

    We are working with more automation to try and shave 40.00 off the price for 1,000 lb skid to make it a little more affordable. And if people can bring there own containers and pick them from gaylord boxes we will sell them by weight and that saves us packing and handling. the price then will be 150.00 for a thousands. The big plus is no sulfur no creosote no dirt or BUGS plus you are helping the enviroment. And they do burn longer then wood and just as good as coal. We welcome all comments good or bad. Thank You

  • Ann Burroughs

    I am 70 years old & my husband is a few years older. We are having a hard time cutting wood to heat our house. This sounds like a good substitute for wood. Hope we will be able to buy these blocks in our area soon!

  • Stephanie

    I pay $140.00 for a cord of wood that is already seasoned and split. I think what he is doing is great and I hope he is successful but I’d like to see him create a more cost effective product. I would like to see him succeed and keep the trash out of the dumps…but like I said, I pay $140.00 for a cord of wood.

  • Miner49

    There is no way a half ton of cardboard has more btu’s than a ton of coal, sorry. Coal is less than $240 also, where do they get these numbers?

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