Trees take on power grid

 A MODEST-SIZED PILE of discarded Christmas trees sits at the Casco-Naples Bulky Waste Site. Twice a year, a company that is contracted by the two towns grinds the natural debris, which is sold as biomass fuel. (De Busk Photo) ON TUESDAY, HEAVY MACHINERY moves a pallet of televisions that were dropped off at the Casco-Naples Bulky Waste Site. (De Busk Photo)


A MODEST-SIZED PILE of discarded Christmas trees sits at the Casco-Naples Bulky Waste Site. Twice a year, a company that is contracted by the two towns grinds the natural debris, which is sold as biomass fuel. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer
CASCO — In December, the lights on the Christmas tree might bump up the electric bill.
In January, trees taken to the Casco-Naples Bulky Waste site will eventually make electricity.
Those trees have a future as biomass fuel, according to Casco Town Manager Dave Morton.
“They get ground up and recycled. The wood chips go to fire a boiler that generates power,” Morton said.
He said he was uncertain of the tree’s end destination.
“We contract with a company to come in and process it. They go out and find their market. They may be selling to SAPPI or some other entities,” he said.
The holiday trees are not given any special treatment from the other natural yard debris in the pile at the bulky waste site. The stockpile just gets bigger and bigger since the recycling company picks up the load bi-annually.
“They’ll come in a couple times a year to grind up the brush and limbs that people bring in,” Morton said.
The task takes several days. The company’s employees set up their machinery and put the debris through the wood-chipper at the site.
Morton said there was no way to record the number of trees or the weight of trees that are dropped off at the bulky waste facility.
Judging by the number of Christmas trees in the pile, the majority of residents chose to discard of their trees in another manner.
However, when it comes to outdated electronics like computers and television, the bulky waste facility is a popular place.
According to an employee there, the electronics drop-off area is busy all year long.
In fact, a truck pulls into the yard every two weeks and up to 20 pallets of nonfunctional, outmoded electronic items are loaded onto the trailer.

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