Case study: All Cape Recycling clears way for Massachusetts skatepark

CBI 5800BT Horizontal Grinder
Photo: CBI

By Joe Gallagher

After more than a decade of planning and execution, a skate park expansion in the town of Falmouth, Mass. is becoming a reality. The 8,000-square-foot project will include a state-of-the-art design that brings more accessibility and a safer alternative to skateboarding on busy streets.

Tireless advocacy from the Falmouth Skatepark Association, funding from the town and contributions from various sources made it happen.

Falmouth Skatepark landclearing project

Falmouth Skatepark landclearing project. Photo: CBI

Randy Harnois, owner of All Cape Recycling and R&H Construction, and a customer of Continental Biomass Industries (CBI), was extremely generous in pricing the initial grading and clearing of the skatepark expansion lot, making it easy for a bid to work within the town’s budget. All Cape Recycling and R&H Contruction have served the Greater Falmouth area for more than 30 years. Their customers today vary from towns, to the state, to residential construction, small businesses, and local projects like the skatepark.

Over the years, they’ve gotten to know a lot of people in the community.

“Everybody knows each other because the island that we live on here is very small,” Harnois said. “Here on the cape, our communities are very tight knit. Most of the time, people like myself who have worked in the community get to meet all of the different people from around the area.”

Responsible wood waste recycling

Falmouth’s proximity to the water creates construction and recycling challenges.

“Our projects on the R&H Construction side tend to be the demolition of housing footprints,” Harnois said. “So we tear down the old houses and construct a brand new home on the real estate. The properties here on the cape are very unique. They fall into a position where there’s no more land available so we have to go to the tear-downs and new construction.”

Totaling 12 employees between the two businesses, R&H Construction is able to bring overage products from developed sites to their yard at All Cape Recycling. The recycling yard offers premium mulches, stones, wood chips, crushed shells, stones, sands, compost, loam and other landscape products. Integration between the two businesses allows All Cape to pass great value along to its community. Its business structure was critical to offering a low bid for the skate park project.

“We’re able to keep the price down because we’re supplying one company from another part of our company,” Harnois said. “So we don’t buy in product, we generate a lot of our own products with machinery and equipment that we’ve been able to purchase throughout New England and the United States.”

Adding a CBI 5800BT horizontal grinder

Harnois supports other local businesses and products when he can. A lot of commercial landscaping and tree care companies rely on the All Cape Recycling yard to dump material and purchase premium landscaping products. A few years back, when storms hit the area, Harnois looked to a nearby wood waste grinding contractor to handle the materials being brought to its yard.

“I originally had a chance to hire in a private contractor because our tub grinder couldn’t keep up with our facility,” Harnois said. “We had three hurricanes in the month of March a while back and that overwhelmed us with wood materials. I hired a gentleman to come in with his CBI 6800. I was so impressed by what that machine can do that I ended up getting a demonstration from CBI and I ended up buying a CBI 5800BT horizontal grinder. It was a fabulous purchase for us.”

CBI horizontal grinders are manufactured in New England at Newton, N.H. The New England-based CBI dealer – High Ground Equipment – worked to commission a 5800BT horizontal grinder at the All Cape Recycling yard in 2019.

The 5800BT recycled trees from the skate park project into premium mulch.

“The cape is such a small footprint that we have to be able to recycle our overage products and re-use them again,” Harnois said. “It’s such a small area that we don’t landfill or lose very much material around here. Everything we take out of the ground or take down—from the trees to the loam—gets recycled and put back on new construction sites. At the skate park here we removed all the trees and stumpage and took it to the grinder, then took it to be processed into mulches and saleable landscape supply products.”

Tip changes for regrinding

Easy tip and screen changes allow Harnois to go from grinding the trees in primary grind to regrinding down to the final spec size for his mulch. They use 3-inch tips with 4-x-6 inch screens for grinding the trees and switch to 1-x-2 inch windowpane screens to regrind the material into the fine mulch product their customers expect.

Premium dyed mulch

Photo: CBI

“Our customers look for the color and the texture of the material,” Harnois said. “All of our wood products are very fine today. We dye the products and then it goes back out to the site after it’s complete and we dress it up and make it beautiful for our community.”

All of the material taken from the Trotting Park Skatepark site will be recycled, enhanced and used for various landscaping projects in the area.

“Our production rate has more than doubled by going from a tub grinder to a CBI horizontal grinder,” Harnois said. “We’re able to handle a lot more material in a shorter amount of time in our facility, which has relaxed some of our labor issues. The machine doesn’t run as long so it’s not worn down as fast as the tub grinder would have been worn down.”

Aside from the versatility of changing tips, the durability has brought significant cost savings compared to the tub grinder.

“One of the other major factors with our CBI grinder is the hardware that we use for the tips — I’ve more than quadrupled the life span because of the design of the rotor,” Harnois said.. “That has saved me a huge amount of money for my machine. As far as reliability this machine has been absolutely excellent for us for the time that we owned it. We’ve had no breakdowns and very little maintenance.”

Grinder mobility and transportation

Since customers on the commercial side of All Cape’s business rely on its yard for dumping and landscape materials, equipment safety is key for managing traffic. The team maximizes the amount of space in the yard by keeping piles consolidated and tracking the horizontal grinder to different locations. The ability to control the grinder remotely, from the inside of the loader, speeds up the process and reduces the amount of manpower needed to get the job done. The 5800BT’s compact design also makes it easy for transporting throughout job sites on narrow roads.

Portability of its horizontal grinder allows All Cape to take on jobs it wouldn’t have taken with the tub grinder, Harnois said.

“It’s very easy to transport around here on our small roads,” he said. “We pretty much have a double-lane road here on the cape and not too much highway. The 5800BT moves very easily on a 35-ton low-bed, so we’re able to transport it to our different smaller residential lot clearings and our smaller commercial sites that we take care of. The tub grinder was too massive to take to a job site and actually physically work.”

New England support from High Ground Equipment

CBI Magnum Force 5800BT horizontal grinder

Art Murphy, of High Ground Equipment (left), and Randy Harnois, of All Cape Recycling. Photo: CBI

A key success factor has been the All Cape team around Harnois and support from High Ground Equipment, CBI’s factory-based dealership for the New England area.

“High Ground Equipment has been very helpful and very supportive of our company,” Harnois said. “It has been a blessing to meet everyone at the factory. I’ve had the opportunity to actually go in and view the factory and how my machine was built and put together and the people who physically did that. I was able to meet and shake their hands. Now I have a personal relationship with all of the people at the CBI factory. They know who I am on a name basis. I’m not just some number that someone plugged into a system and sold a piece of equipment.”

Harnois strongly believes in the value of local businesses supporting each other.

Joe Gallagher is the marketing manager for CBI & Ecotec: Terex Brands.

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