Company Turning Alachua’s Scraps Into Fertilizer

We commend Watson C&D, LLC for their innovative recycling efforts in Alachua and Levy Counties. They are an industry leader in the recycling of construction debris and vegetative materials and now lead the way in local organic composting. eda is proud to have assisted Watson C&D in many of these efforts.


We’re pushing to recycle 100 percent,” said Ryan McMeekin, general manager of Watson C&D in Archer.

Watson’s roots in construction date back to 1976, and the company’s 200-acre landfill site in Archer for disposal of construction debris opened in 1988. Those construction materials are recycled, such as wood products made into mulch, McMeekin said.

In the past couple of years, Watson has been piloting a program to also bring in

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yard waste collected from residents within the city of Gainesville and Alachua County overall. The total yard waste collected in Alachua County averages 15,000 tons annually, and Watson received 4,800 tons of that in 2013.

In 2014, McMeekin is setting his sights on all 15,000 tons — or, acknowledging that some is used for Gainesville’s biomass plant, whatever is left over and otherwise would end up in a landfill.

Meanwhile, Watson has been coordinating to receive organic waste from University of Florida game days, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Organic waste includes fruits, vegetables, meat and decomposable cups, forks and bags.

The organics are combined with the yard waste, ground up and composted for six months to create fertilizer.

“That gets away from the chemical fertilizer,” McMeekin said. “So the big picture is yard waste coming off of the city and county, it gets turned into compost, and we put it back down (as fertilizer) on Alachua County.”

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