From storm debris to energy at green waste collection site

Skye Kinkade
Green waste at the Roseburg site in Mount Shasta is loaded into a chipper by Wolfpack Wood Recycling. Some of the chips were to be taken to Roseburg Forest Products in Weed. The other portion will be trucked to Burney Forest Power, where it will be utilized to create electricity.

Driving by Mount Shasta’s Roseburg property at the south end of town, you’ll notice that the massive piles of brush and tree trimmings have completely disappeared.

Today marks the end of the city’s first ever Green Waste Disposal project, which was implemented to aid area residents in cleaning up after the past winter’s destructive storms.

Over the past week and a half, Tim Dempewolf, owner of Wolfpack Wood Recycling, chipped the hundreds of pounds of debris into material small enough to be utilized by biomass plants.

“I’m guessing there will be 100 to 120 truckloads,” said Dempewolf when he began the project on June 10. He said he’ll be completely finished with the project today, June 23.

“Once we get started, it goes pretty fast,” he said.

Some of the chips will be trucked to Roseburg Forest Products in Weed, to be used as soon as the biomass plant  there goes into operation. The remaining material will be taken to Burney Forest Power, Dempewolf said.

The material in one chip bin, about 25 green tons, averages about 14 dry tons, Dempewolf explained. That amount will create enough electricity to power 14 to 16 average sized homes for 30 days.

“We’re producing clean energy... if all this was burned, there would have been a lot of smoke and carbon emission,” he said.

The chips will fetch between $600 and $700 per truckload before trucking costs, which are about $300 per load, Dempewolf said. He employs one other person to help him run the equipment, and ran five trucks to and from the Roseburg property in Mount Shasta.

Dempewolf runs his company out of Cottonwood and often does projects as large or larger than this one, including work on orchards and at logging sites around the north state.

Though not every winter is as destructive as the last, Mount Shasta city officials are discussing the possibility of future green waste programs due to the success of this one.

Residents from around the area were invited to dispose of any debris left by January’s heavy snow free of charge. Volunteers and city employees manned the site. Dempewolf didn’t charge for his services and will be repaid by profits from the raw material.

“This is an opportunity for various agencies to work together to protect life and property from fire damage while protecting the environment by recycling green waste,” said city manager Kevin Plett.

The city reminds residents that collection at the Roseburg site has ended, and that any burning of material requires an authorized burn permit. Further information can be obtained from the Mount Shasta City Fire Department at 926-7546, the Mount Shasta Fire District at 926-0702 or through other local fire departments.

Tim Dempewolf, owner of Wolfpack Wood Recycling, holds a handful of green waste that has been chipped and is ready to be utilized at a biomass plant to create electricity.