HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County residents can now get rid of their yard waste in a safe and legal way.
Haywood Bryant, the owner of a tree service company in Hampstead, and Rick Tunner of Big Dog Tractor, Inc., bought an air curtain burner to open their own facility called Branch and Brush Debris.
“Homeowners started putting [debris] in their yards, burning it, taking it on empty lots," said Bryant. "Recently, we’ve found, pretty much every job we do, someone has stacked debris in their empty lots next to them and with that, we thought, well... maybe this is an opportunity knocking. So we investigated the air curtain burner, found that would be our best operation and best chance to reduce our debris around the surrounding counties.”
An air curtain burner is a pollution control device for open burning. It’s designed to reduce particulate matter like ash or excess smoke. It’s environmentally friendly because it also produces biochar, which farmers and gardeners can use to improve soil fertility. The burner arrived from Charlotte on Wednesday.
“When we are burning, there’s an air current that flows over the top of the container which keeps all the pollutants inside,” said Tunner. “It’s virtually a smokeless burning unit once the fire is started and the only thing we add to it is air."
Running Deer Landfill, located in Rocky Point, closed October of 2019 and since then, there has been nowhere for residents, landscapers or tree companies to legally dump their limbs, leaves, clippings or vegetative debris.
Pender County commissioners approved a special use permit back in January to allow Haywood and Tunner to operate a vegetative recycling center on Haywood’s land, where his business is also located.
“It will reduce debris down to 2% of what we put in it,” said Bryant. “It’s bio-friendly. It will create what is called biochar. Biochar is used out west and in the Midwest for crops and landscapers. It’s also used for water filtration systems. This burner is going to reduce our debris in Hampstead and in the surrounding areas.”
“We’re excited and we’re glad to be able to offer this to the county,” said Tunner.
Branch and Brush Debris is located at 21435 U.S. 17. They are now accepting yard waste. Prices vary, depending on the amount of debris.
There will be a grand opening celebration, but that date has not yet been announced.