BS Ranch and Farm is diverting solid waste from landfills and turning it into topsoil.
Bill Stanton and his wife, Brandy, started the company about 12 years ago. Bill had a diverse background in a variety of related fields, which was a good foundation for the new, unique business.
The Lakeland, Florida, company accepts organic waste from a 100-mile radius. Companies deliver wood waste, food residuals and wastes, and biosolids to the 340-acre facility.
Once it arrives, employees begin handling the material using a variety of construction equipment.
“As on any kind of construction site or agricultural activity, our machines are pushing, pulling, loading and transporting the different materials at different times in the process,” Bill says.
Tree care professionals, landscapers and land-clearing companies deliver wood waste in trucks and trailers. A portion of the material is mulched, delivered from transfer stations, and further processed. Once it’s unloaded, the wood waste starts a gradual decay process.
“Our decomposition process takes between three and five years,” Bill says. “We leave some of it in a whole state and let it decompose for up to three years prior to either grinding or blending it with other materials. We create large piles that help to generate some heat. We blend the material so the wood absorbs all the nutrients and the proteins and amino acids from the decaying, more concentrated organic materials, such as septic, biosolids and food residuals.”
A Doosan DL300-5 wheel loader paired with a grapple attachment handles the wood waste upon delivery. The machine loads the material into a DA40 articulated dump truck (ADT).
“We like the DL300-5 wheel loaders because they fall in the middle of the heavy equipment spectrum,” Bill says. “They’re very mobile and not overly big for the work that they’re doing.”
Working with the wheel loader is a DX300MH-5 material handler. It’s paired with a grapple and loads wood waste into the ADT. From there, the ADT transports the material to another area for further processing.
Bill purchased the Doosan equipment from Synergy Equipment, the Doosan dealer in Tampa.
Food Residuals and Wastes
Food residuals and waste is another type of material accepted at BS Ranch and Farm. This material originates at food processing plants, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. The organizations place the food waste in carts and specialty trucks pick up the carts, then deliver the material to BS Ranch and Farm. From there, it goes through de-packaging and becomes food for the decomposition process.
“It decomposes and contains bacteria that help it to function in the rotting process,” Bill says.
Biosolids, including septage, comprise the third part of the decomposition process. BS Ranch and Farm sources the biosolids from wastewater treatment facilities and septic service companies.
“That’s an organic waste as well,” he says. “It finishes off the entire circle of organic material that is excreted from the urban environment. It’s not complete when it arrives. It’s not finished in its decay process, and that’s something that we provide.”
The Florida climate creates ideal conditions for the decomposition process. Eventually, the product reaches its mature point. This is the point at which the material won’t decay anymore and it’s stable.
“Once the product is mature, we run it through screening plants and separate it down from a 1-inch minus,” Bill says. “The oversize material returns back to the piles. It stays in operation until it’s decayed.”
Most customers purchase the final product in bulk, and some material is sold to customers who bag it and resell it. BS Ranch and Farm advertises its product as a topsoil blend that is perfect for farms, gardens and lawns.
“We like the DL300-5 wheel loaders because they fall in the middle of the heavy equipment spectrum. They’re very mobile and not overly big for the work that they’re doing.”