Midland....Leader in Compost?

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Here in the Basin, we've heard of economic growth in oil and manufacturing, but there are piles of other opportunities waiting at Recom Resource Recovery in Midland.

Now, West Texas is scoring high marks in their compost.

"They were really impressed with it," Steve Clabaugh, CEO of Recom, said. "It had a particular type of fungi in there that was gonna be conducive in germinating their seeds."

Recom's compost was selected as one of the best for a big project in San Antonio.

Around 200,000 yards of it will be made and sent there over the next three years to help construct a park and jogging area.

What Recom says what separates them from the pack is their process, called the static pile method.

Piles of raw materials bake at 160 degrees under the West Texas sun, fed with plenty of air and water.

This process goes on until the materials decompose enough to be grinded into the compost they need.

Now Recom will have to produce more than 10 times the compost they do annually, and double their staff, which means some hope for job seekers.

"Putting on an additional 10-12 people, and if that's not enough, we'll continue to add until we're able to accomplish the task," Clabaugh said.

Not only that, the Recom CEO says re-using the raw materials to make the compost helps the Basin's environment by keeping them out of landfills, saving space and taxpayer dollars.

"If we could save 100,000 yards of material going into it, it's going to expand the life of our landfills by, who knows what the measure is, but could be 10-12 years," Clabaugh said.

Sure the product isn't too pretty to look at, but it could be proof that not all that glitter is gold.