(L-R) are Kurtz Bros.’s Tim Lee, AGGCORP’S Rob Armbruster and Kurtz Bros.’s Greg Malone.
Kurtz Bros. operates a C&D landfill, a MRF and material processing operation on its 17-acre facility.
To tackle this work, Kurtz Bros. recently purchased a Powerscreen Warrior 1800 from AGGCORP. The Warrior 1800 will go into service at the company’s Valley View, Ohio, production site.
Tim Lee, Kurtz Bros. C&D/recycling manager, said that the Warrior 1800 will process hard fill such as bricks and concrete to produce 411, #1’s & # 2 material to supply local landscape and construction customers in northern Ohio.
The company plans to use the Powerscreen Warrior 1800 as one component in a recycling operation that will also employ a Powerscreen XR400 Jaw Crusher and picking stations to remove wood scrap, plastic and metal. Afterward, the metal will be separated with the aid of a Dings electro magnet.
Kurtz Bros. has owned several Powerscreens for a number of years.
Although Lee said he was familiar with Powerscreen equipment, the decision was anything but automatic.
The company put six screeners from other manufacturers to the test before purchasing the Powerscreen Warrior 1800.
Lee said, there were several features that were unique to the Powerscreen that won him over. Important features for Tim were the apron feeder, a very aggressive variable speed 2 deck screen box and the radio controlled grizzly. We fed the machine everything in our yard. It out produced all other machines and gave cleaner midsize products which in recycling make them easier to sell.
We also have a great working relationship with AGGCORP. They provide a great service to our company. They provide the vast majority of our machines with parts and service and assist us in keeping them running at their optimum.
59 Years and Counting
Celebrating its 60th anniversary next year, Kurtz Bros. has been at the recycling business long before the green movement made it fashionable.
One of the founding families in Independence, Ohio, Mel Kurtz Sr. and his father found that the rich soil from the bottomland that they owned along the Cuyahoga River was a valuable resource for area landscape and construction companies.
With an operation that they started out of their home, the company harvested the soil for resale for years until the Federal Government purchased the property to develop the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
With their material source no longer readily available, the company decided to produce its own — which was the start of their recycling operations.
“The majority of the soil in the area is extremely high in clay content and low in organic material,” Greg Malone, Kurtz Bros. director of business processes and logistics, said. “To produce a usable topsoil material, they needed to find a steady supply of both the organic material and sand. Mr. Kurtz felt that if they could use the sand from Ford Motor Companies foundry, both Ford and Kurtz Bros. would benefit. Until Mr. Kurtz approached them with the idea, Ford had been paying to have the sand hauled to a landfill for disposal. With the help of Ohio State, the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA, the sand was tested in deemed to be good for use in their soil blend.”
For the organic materials, Kurtz Bros. entered into a contract with Akron’s Municipal Waste Water Treatment plant to receive material to be composted along with wood waste. Because composting generates a great amount of heat, the organic product is sterilized in the process.
Finding value in previously discarded materials, the company grew and transitioned into a large scale recycling operation that included a C&D landfill for source materials to feed their recycled material production.
Among the materials they recycle are bricks and concrete turned into building materials, ground cover and fill. Wood waste converted into colorized mulch. They also recover plastic and metals from the materials they receive for sale to secondary processors of those products.
Where they once recycled from 40 to 50 percent of their C&D operation, they can now recycle up to 95 percent depending on the job. Their primary customers are still landscape and construction companies and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The company continually seeks better ways to recycle as well as additional products to recover and or produce and invests a good deal of their resources in research and development.
A growing element of the environmental industry is storm water management — Kurtz Bros. has become involved with developing Bio-Retention Soil Media that maintains properties required to filter the storm water at a certain rate.
They also are currently looking at recycling carpet and drywall as well.
Kurtz Bros. is LEED Certified — a green movement building point based rating system that provides third party validation and verification of a given project’s environmental benefits.
From a single operation based out of their home, Kurtz Bros. now operates four production sites and three distribution centers in the Cleveland, Ohio, area as well as a sister company in the Columbus, Ohio area that operates three production sites and four distribution centers.
Kurtz Bros. continues to keep an eye on other areas for growth. Other operations that would provide a good fit may be recycling soil from dredging the rivers that feed into Lake Erie and expanded methane gas recovery from their anaerobic composting operations.
Kurtz Bros. remains a family owned business and, of the founders’ nine children, five are a part of the company and one is in a related business.
Mel Kurtz Sr. remained active in the day-to-day operations until shortly before his death.
For more information on Kurtz Bros., visit www.kurtz-bros.com.
For more information on AGGCORP, visit www.aggcorp.net.
For more information on Terex Powerscreen, visit www.powerscreen.com.