“We have as many as 200 loads of material leave here each day, and the WA500s allow us to do that”
Many people associate recycling with household materials like cardboard boxes and paper. In contrast, construction companies think of it in terms of taking old concrete or other debris and turning it into aggregates such as road base. For No Waste Grindings LLC, recycling is focused on turning scrap wood into a variety of products for a wide range of industries.
“Roughly 70 percent of our business involves moving leftover construction-related wood to and from various places,” explained Ezra Craig, who along with his wife, Jaki, owns No Waste Grindings. “For the most part, the starting point is a construction business or a truss company that has wood waste. We haul it to a business that processes a portion of it into finger-jointed studs, which are reintroduced to the new-home construction market.”
The byproduct from the finger-jointing, along with any unused portion of the original wood waste, is then hauled to No Waste Grindings’ facility in Phoenix for further processing.
“One of our main offerings is biomass material, which is burned for energy. We sell our product in bulk all over the state of Arizona. We also offer condensed wood pellets by the bag, pallet or the truckload,” said Ezra, noting that nearly all of the raw wood handled by the company is untreated and uncolored white pine. “Additionally, we produce several types of materials for ground cover and animal-related usage.”
Among the latter are grindings for show arenas and bedding for horse stalls. Eventually, those materials need to be replaced, so they work with ranches and other equestrian-related businesses to remove the soiled products. No Waste Grindings takes them to nurseries where they are processed into clean mulch.
“In some instances, we are working with the same ‘pieces’ of wood up to five times,” Ezra said. “That’s the bulk of our business. The rest is made up of some cardboard and manure hauling to recycling facilities along with a bit of trash hauling.”
A decade of building
Ezra and Jaki started No Waste Grindings nearly 10 years ago. Prior to that, the couple worked for a similar business owned by Jaki’s mother. Her company focused more on trash handling. Ezra was in charge of roll-off services and oversaw a crew. He also developed relationships with area truss companies. When Jaki’s mother passed away, the Craigs decided to open No Waste Grindings.
“We started hitting the wood market hard and helping some of the customers we had relationships with, before starting a recycling program for the scrap wood they were sending to a landfill,” Ezra recalled. “At first, we rented space from the previous company and worked out of its yard. That firm hauled our products. Through the years, we built up our business.”
Today, No Waste Grindings has approximately 20 employees and its own yard, trucks and a couple hundred roll-off boxes around the state of Arizona. The company hauls products to and from the yard and also accepts materials from outside sources. Raw wood is thoroughly inspected and sorted to ensure that items going into the grinder are clean.
Komatsu loaders stand up
Komatsu loaders are a mainstay in No Waste Grindings’ operations. The company has two WA270s – one Dash-7 and a Dash-8 – that load trucks and feed the grinder. Ezra worked with Road Machinery Territory Manager Earl Stagger to purchase the WA270-8 mid-size wheel loader.
“Komatsu’s reliability is outstanding,” said Ezra. “Phoenix is a hot and dusty environment, and wood waste and the materials we make from it only increase the dust factor. Komatsu loaders have always performed well under those conditions, without incurring any significant downtime. We get good production and fast cycle times.”
Stagger talked in depth with Ezra about his specific needs when No Waste Grindings purchased the WA270-8, and together they determined that the loader could be equipped with a 6-yard bucket instead of the standard 2.5- to 3.5-yard sizes.
“The wood we handle is light, and we’re not doing heavy digging like a construction company, so a larger bucket made sense. It allows us to move product faster,” said Ezra. “Earl was terrific about ensuring that the machine was a perfect fit, and we have received excellent service from Road Machinery throughout the years. That’s another big reason why I continue to use Komatsu. Road Machinery takes care of the scheduled services on the Dash-8 under Komatsu CARE, and we use them for maintenance on the Dash-7, too. They call me when an interval comes up, we schedule and they get it done.”
Looking to go electric
Ezra notes that in the not-too-distant past wood waste was likely destined for a landfill. He believes recycling it is a much better option. “I have plans to do more,” said Ezra. “I’m looking at eventually moving to an electric grinder and changing other practices to be more eco-friendly. Anything we can do to be environmentally conscious is a positive in my book.”