Power To Save: The Beast Eats Yard Waste

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NEWPORT TOWNSHIP -- Signs of the holiday season are all around Luzerne County but those pesky leaves that fell off trees could mean a lot more work cleaning up for many.

Enter the Beast -- the big yellow grinder sits at the Earth Conservancy Compost Center and grinds up leaf waste.

"It is certainly a benefit to the community because you have to clean your yard up and if you don't it's just going to ferment there and cause problems," said Mike Dziak, Earth Conservancy.

The large-scale grinder in Newport Township means business. And it has to,  serving 15 communities in Luzerne County.

The gigantic yellow machine turns trash into treasure by mashing up leaves and dead branches.

Workers say this machine works so much faster and more efficient than doing it by hand.

"It makes it a lot easier because it's a lot faster than a smaller machine. The capacity on it could handle 1,000, 2,000 yards in a day," said supervisor Rick Ruggiero.

The 30-acre compost center gets about 7,000 tons of material a year.

Dziak says that waste is better served here than at a landfill.

"You take it to a landfill, you got to pay for truckload and the weight of taking it there. Secondly, it fills the landfill up so there is less room for real garbage."

It takes about eight to ten months before the yard waste can be used for compost.

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