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Electric tractor, van featured at Earthworm Festival

Iris Waste Diversion Specialists (IWDS) showcased its expanded operations featuring a new building, electric tractor and electric van at the Earthworm Festival held in Birch Run recently. The expansion of its operations was due, in large part, to a $214,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Electric tractor part of display at Earthworm Festival in Birch Run, Mich. in October 2022. Courtesy of Iris Waste Diversion Specialists.

Electric tractor part of display at the Earthworm Festival in Birch Run, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Iris Waste Diversion Specialists.)


The event – held at 5Heart Earthworm Farm (5Heart) – gave IWDS the opportunity to feature its electric vehicles and the new energy-efficient worm barn. The tractor and van have helped move their organization toward eliminating the use of gasoline in their operations. The van is used to collect food scraps as part of its subscription-based program to Bay City and Saginaw area residents and businesses, while the tractor is used in the small-scale composting operation at 5Heart. The new worm barn is heated using a hot water radiant floor heating system, is fully insulated, and is set up with LED lighting fixtures. The food scrap collection program diverts food scraps from being landfilled and has averted the equivalent of more than 17,285 pounds of carbon dioxide since collection began in June.

The Earthworm Festival featured workshops on vermiculture and composting – from start to finish, and the worms were the stars of the show.

The company’s food waste worm/vermicomposting operations was featured in a previous issue of MI Environment.

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