Waupaca Foundry is proud of its sustainability efforts. In the case of reusing foundry sand, thousands of tons are kept out of landfills each year, which is good for the foundry, good for the environment, and good for farms. It’s a win-win-win.
Thanks to Waupaca Foundry’s commitment to green principles, a little creativity, and a lot of manure, increasing quantities of used foundry sand makes a beneficial impact on a farm. Manure storage and handling can be an expensive and challenging problem for many farmers, but foundry sand comes to the rescue as a cheaper and effective source of agricultural construction material.
Government regulation, as well as sheer volume, make the handling and storage of cow manure a much larger challenge than it used to be. Farmers must consider ecological and geological conditions and ensure safe containment of the waste so that harmful gases and leaking manure do not pollute the surrounding soil and water systems. In the case of Noll Farms, bedrock at 3 to 4 feet below ground posed the challenge. NRCS Code 313 Waste Storage Facility requires separation between the bottom of the manure pit and the bedrock. Traditional solutions for this include aboveground containment, piling the waste on top of and containing it within cement barriers.
For example, Noll Farms is a dairy owned and operated by Allen Noll in Pound, Wisconsin. Noll started with 70 cows in 1985 and now has 400. With that growth comes millions of gallons of manure.
Waupaca Foundry’s ductile iron foundry in Marinette, Wisconsin was able to supply enough fill material for Noll Farms to build an elevated manure storage pit and a barn expansion project that met the environmental and business needs of the dairy farm.
In 2008, 51,441 total tons of fill were used for the manure pit and the barn expansion. That’s more than ten thousand tons heavier than the U.S.S. Wisconsin, the World War II retired battleship turned museum ship!
Using spent foundry sand, Noll Farms was able to
- build a sloped, aboveground pit to hold 6.5 million gallons of manure
- reduce cost by 50% compared to a traditional aboveground solution
If he had to build a pit using the traditional materials and methods, Noll says, “I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I really didn’t have any other cost effective options.”
"We try to create win-win partnerships, in this case, we were able to get Allen fill that saved him a tremendous amount of money." - Scott Huguet - Senior Project Manager, Beneficial Reuse Management