Yes! Wellington has a solution to its equine waste manure problem.

Recycle horse manure and stall residual waste? Yes, says a new company that should be operational in West Palm Beach by next autumn. WPB may have come up with a solution: Reuse it. “There is a solution,” said Paul Cross, CEO and head designer at HiPoint Bedding. The environmental recycling company, headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is working with O’Dell and representatives from Palm Beach County to tackle the horse manure problem head-on.

The company created a proprietary HPAB Process method to clean stall waste so that every part of it can be either reused or recycled.

In August, O’Dell attended an annual meeting with law enforcement officials, the county’s Solid Waste Authority, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Palm Beach County environmental crimes unit to address the issue of stall waste.

As horses descend on Wellington ahead of 2020 Olympics, a solution for the mounds of manure?

The remaining manure can be composted in five days in a bioreactor.

“Other composting facilities require massive land and take months to a year to break it down,” Cross said of current methods.

HiPoint plans to open a 5-acre, state-of-the-art recycling facility in November 2020 in West Palm Beach. The plant will be able to process 59,000 tons of stall waste per year, he said. Solving a portion of the equine waste manure problem in Wellington and Palm Beach County.

Does Wellington have solution to equine excrement problem?

wendy Rhodes Palm Beach Post Horse Mnaure HiPoint solution

Wendy Rhodes Palm Beach Post Horse Mnaure HiPoint solution

WELLINGTON —The Village of Wellington is fast becoming an international destination for elite equestrians, rock stars, movie stars, and billionaire CEOs who are drawn to the natural beauty, affluence and small-town charm of the Palm Beach County horse community.

About 65,000 people call Wellington home, but during equestrian season — from January to April — that number swells as trainers, riders, grooms and farriers head south to take part in world-renowned competitions and events.

This year, record numbers of both humans and horses are possible as athletes vie for spots in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

But behind glamorous flowing manes are swishing tails, and behind those tails is a dirty problem big enough to cover 50 football fields three feet deep every year.

The problem is horse manure — the 180-million-pound result of stabling an estimated 13,000 equines each year. The average horse produces 50 pounds of manure daily. And it has to go somewhere.

Disposal of manure within village boundaries is illegal, and neighboring Loxahatchee Groves haulers have their eyes on the Wellington haulers after accusing them last year of dumping waste there illegally.

But even properly disposed of waste can be a problem. Manure releases significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Manure can also leach phosphates into soil and water, which can drain to canals, lakes and the sea and contribute to algal blooms and red tide.

So, with so much ado about horse doo, what is a village to do?

Enter Mike O’Dell — Prince of Poo, Master of Manure. As Wellington’s assistant planning, zoning and building director, O’Dell likely knows more about agricultural waste than anyone else in town.

He’s seen the problem, and he’s smelled it.

“It doesn’t smell good,” he said.

Since O’Dell first began working with the village, he has dedicated himself to finding environmentally friendly methods of dealing with a veritable mountain of . . . well, you know.

“It’s humorous that we’ve got all this wealth and high-powered people in this equestrian community, yet we spend a large amount of time talking about horse manure,” he said, laughing. “It’s not a popular discussion point, but it’s just part of the industry.”

O’Dell said most farms use three-sided concrete bins to store the manure and urine-soaked, wood-chip bedding that makes up “stall waste.”

Each stable shoulders the cost of disposing of its own waste. Typically, it hires a hauling company to pick it up and take it away a few times a week.

But hauling it “away” equates to little more than relocating the problem.

“Away?” O’Dell said. “Away is a good question.”

Manure and other stall waste often ends up being burned in a solid waste plant or used as a soil additive for farming — methods which both carry detrimental environmental consequences.

Also, not everyone plays by the rules.

“Illegal dumping has a negative impact on our environment and it’s not the right thing to do,” O’Dell said, citing increased transportation costs and limited local disposal sites as possible reasons some people may opt to circumvent the law.

In August, O’Dell attended an annual meeting with law enforcement officials, the county’s Solid Waste Authority, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Palm Beach County environmental crimes unit to address the issue of stall waste.

And this year, they may have come up with a solution: Reuse it.

“There is a solution,” said Paul Cross, CEO and head designer at Hi Point Bedding.

The environmental recycling company, headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is working with O’Dell and representatives from Palm Beach County to tackle the horse manure problem head-on.

The company created a proprietary method to clean stall waste so that every part of it can be either reused or recycled.

Here’s how it works: First, the manure is separated from the bedding. A thermodynamic drying system turns any liquid into steam, which results in the creation of 3 million gallons of water annually that can be purified and reused. Leftover dust is used as a soil additive.

Dry wood chips are then cleaned and sanitized to create premium, hypoallergenic, dust-free bedding without cutting down more trees.

The remaining manure can be composted in five days in a bioreactor.

“Other composting facilities require massive land and take months to a year to break it down,” Cross said of current methods.

Hi Point plans to open a 5-acre, state-of-the-art recycling facility in November 2020 in West Palm Beach. The plant will be able to process 59,000 tons of stall waste per year, he said.

It all sounds good to O’Dell, who wants to ensure the village has access to a viable solution as the horse community grows.

“It’s ironic that we have the titans of industry in this village, yet we’re gong to sit here talk about somebody’s manure,” he said, laughing. “You just kind of shake your head and say, ‘How did we get here?’”

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@WendyRhodesFL

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