Compost company gets OK

No current plans for accepting animal carcasses

A composting facility north of Mancos gained unanimous approval from the Montezuma County Commission Monday on a plan to continue and improve operations.

49 Square Ventures has been operating the facility for 25 years producing a nutrient-rich soil product for sold for farms, gardens, road-crews, and construction companies.

The 35-acre facility on Road 39 primarily uses woody chips it obtains from the Western Excelsior lumber mill for its composting.

The company is seeking a Class II permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Proposed changes required approval from the county as well.

During a public hearing on the matter, it was noted that a Class II permit could allow for animal carcasses to be processed into the compost with additional approvals from the CDPHE. Company officials said they would not be accepting dead animals at this time.

Still, the new permit could allow for it so it needs to be addressed, said commissioner Steve Chappell.

Mike Olson, an engineer representing the company, said if the company did begin accepting dead animals they would be rigorously controlled in a designated area that would be covered and contained to control odors and prevent access to birds and rodents. CDPHE also does unannounced inspections of the facility, he said.

Heavy rains have flooded Mud Creek and overflowing onto neighbors fields with woody debris.

To solve the problem, storm-water controls will be installed, including strategically placed ditches and larger, lined ponds to handle storm events.