Dairy Cows' Bedding Has More Than One Use

8/4/2014

Some dairy farmers are using unique bedding for their cows that is made from paper and cardboard byproducts that would normally be buried in a landfill.

"Fibers that can no longer be used to make cardboard, we bring it in and mix in different materials that we use and we process it into a fine fiber bedding that's good for the farmers and the cows," said Roger Elston of Syracuse Fiber Recycling.

It's good for the cows because one of the ingredients they mix in combats the spread of bacteria.

"What helps the bacteria is a product that we add that is similar to lime, and that helps keep the bacteria growth down, which in turn will help with the quality of the milk and the prices that the farmers are paid," said Elston.

Syracuse Fiber Recycling processed and shipped 92,000 tons of bedding last year.

"We sell to dairy farms all across the state. We have about 90 customers right now that we're servicing. They range anywhere from down by New York City out toward the Albany area, west in the Batavia area and north up toward Potsdam and in that region," said Elston.

After it's used as bedding for the dairy cows, it can be spread on the farm fields to help add nutrients to the soil.

"Everything we bring in would normally go to a landfill, so it has a pretty big impact on New York state. OCRRA monitors it, the DEC monitors it and tracks all the tonnage that we're keeping out of the landfills. It also helps save the paper mills money, because landfills have a high tipping cost and we've turned it into a beneficial product," said Elston.

Source: centralny.twcnews.com