When Scott County residents put their yard waste out at the curb, what exactly happens once it’s collected? After a more-than-50-day process at the Davenport Compost Facility, it becomes nutrient-rich compost, mulch, soil and other products fit for any lawn and garden endeavor.
Each year through its collection of biosolids* and yard waste, the facility is able to:
- Divert over 1 million pounds of waste from the landfill
- Produce more than 30,000 cubic yards of compost
- Sell about 18,000 bags of its own product
“This is the only facility like this in the state of Iowa,” Waste Commission of Scott County Executive Director Kathy Morris said. “There aren’t that many in the U.S., and it is so well-run. I don’t know if our residents and businesses realize how much this has helped us in our integrated waste management system.”
When the Aug. 2020 derecho barreled through the Quad Cities area, it was the compost facility that stepped up. The windstorm, according to a report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, destroyed or damaged an estimated 4.5 million Iowa trees. “(The Davenport Compost Facility) had a line the very next morning that extended down the street,” Davenport Compost Facility Compost Supervisor Pat Linehan said. “We had to change the way we accepted drop-offs to get people moving through here as quickly as we could.”
Grinders were set up at different parks and public locations all around Scott County to process the mass tree debris, and the mulch byproduct was sold or given to landscaping companies in the area. The state-of-the-art Davenport facility, throughout its 26 years in operation, produces yard products from material that would otherwise sit in the landfill.