Big dump trucks rumble in out of Valley Demo & Recycling, LLC, located west of U.S. Highway 14, between New Ulm and Courtland, five days a week during most of the year and four days a week during the winter.
Tucked away in the Minnesota River Valley, owned and operated by MR Paving and Excavating and licensed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) the site was created for public use.
Piles of assorted sizes of rock, concrete, sand, tar, plus construction and demolition debris that can be recycled cover the landscape with a panoramic river valley view in the background.
Bryce Boelter stands on a pile of tar, overlooking Valley Demo & Recycling and the Minnesota River Valley near New Ulm.
Landfill debris is covered with dirt before it is surrounded by a clay liner.
Bryce Boelter’s office is a bulldozer at Valley Demo & Recycling.
Since concrete and asphalt waste can be recycled into building new roads or kept in a contained, controlled place, lined with three feet of clay, the facility offers lower disposal rates than traditional sanitary landfills.
The landfill is the office of bulldozer operator Bryce Boelter of New Ulm.
"I go through everything when it is dumped to make sure its acceptable waste," Boelter said. "Then I cover it with dirt to keep it contained."
He pointed out a large, nearby pile of locally-mined clay that is used for gravel products and to line the landfill so nothing leaks from it.
Part of the clay-covered landfill has been reclaimed, covered with MPCA-selected grasses.
"We've got all kinds of customers hauling refuse in and out," he added. "Material is used for roads, sidewalks, patios and multi-purpose sub-grade material."
A big concrete crusher cuts up former sidewalks, curbs and gutters into one and one-half inch to four to six-inch concrete chunks.
"We deal with many local and area waste haulers. If we can't take it, it goes to a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfill," Boelter said. "We're trying to make a positive environmental impact. You legally bury an old building in a rural farm site anymore."
He feels strongly about his work and how it affects the environment. On Saturday mornings, he and his children often find unacceptable garbage in local recycling bins and properly dispose of them.
Working with sand, gravel, concrete and heavy machinery has been a way of life for Boelter since his teenage days when he began driving a bulldozer for his late father Marvin's construction business.
Many area baseball fans, players and coaches may recognize Boelter after seeing him on the field as a player and coach currently and for the past several decades.
He credited his father for sacrificing his own time so Bryce could play baseball for many local and area teams in his younger days.