Friday, July 3, 2009
Burn Baby Burn!
Burning Manure Mountain Has Neighbors Fuming, Nebraska Wanting Solution
MILFORD, Neb. (AP) -- A huge pile of composting manure burning for almost two months has neighbors upset and state officials looking for a way to put it out.
Concerned about emissions, the state's Department of Environmental Quality will make its recommendation by the end of the week, said spokesman Rich Webster.
David Dickinson, who owns and operates Midwest Feeding Co. near this town about 20 miles west of Lincoln, said he has tried to spread the pile out and douse it with water but the weather has slowed his efforts.
Webster said Dickinson will have to do something to put the fire out.
From a distance, the fire looks like steam rising from the large cattle feedlot. But when the winds pick up, it's more than a vapor to neighbors, who can smell the result from as far as 9 miles away. At a restaurant one mile north of the pile patrons comment on the stench, said manager Wilma Roth.
``There's a lot of people who complain about it when they come in,'' she said.
The fire began, Dickinson said, when grass clippings spontaneously combusted. He had accepted the clippings from the city to continue the pile's composting. Dickinson knows it is troublesome and he wants to put it out within a month.
``The only way to put it out is to string it out, which takes an enormous amount of space,'' he said.
In the meanwhile there is a mountain of cow manure, 2000 tons of it, and 54,000 tons a day being added. That's a lot of cow poop.