KELOWNA, BC (Spring 2011) – The idea was born from the desire to recycle a mixed mound of soil, mulch and rocks, one that the Kelowna-based Klaas Nierop says you could almost stand atop of and have a view of the Okanagan Lake.
Since creating a product that has since received a patent on its innovative design, an invention that stemmed from the simple desire to reuse valuable soil, “The Greener Soil Screener” as it is named, has seen many alterations and improvements throughout its relatively short lifespan.
Its claim to fame is simply – its simplicity. With no moving parts, grease nipples or power components, the patented screener requires no maintenance. It’s multifunctional and is intended to be an all around tool for contractors, golf courses, landscapers, municipalities, farm and school districts and so on.
“It screens more than just soil,” explains Nierop. “It sifts through soil at 20 yards per hour and the screening surface angle can be changed effortlessly.” Working with gravity, the Greener Soil Screener’s adjustable angle encourages rocks and heavier debris to slide off, preserving only the desired product. The screener is portable and is equipped with a quick-attach function on both ends allowing it to be placed in small areas. It can also be brought to the job site by placing it on a bobcat trailer, or put in the back of a pick-up truck.
The self-sufficient tool has earned its “green” title as it averts soil from being wasted. The screener allows contractors to screen on site, limit the spread of invasive plants by means of reusing soil that you already have and it doesn’t require an energy source. “You can also use the screener to mix materials,” says Nierop, adding that the act of soil sliding through the sifter adds oxygen molecules back into the dirt.
“Most customers look at the unit and can’t believe that a small unit can do so much work,” he says. “That, and most mechanical screeners will have down time for repair.”
After discussing with her ground crew on how to save on costs, Grounds Department Supervisor Rachelle Tessier of School District #43 in Coquitlam said that screening and reusing was the only viable option.
“With all of the cutbacks to our budget recently, paying to dump our fill was something we wanted to avoid,” explains Tessier. “It was suggested that we could screen and reuse a lot of the stuff that we normally dumped.”
School District #43 purchased a Greener Soil Screener in July and since purchasing the Greener Soil Screener Tessier says, “It can do more than we ever imagined.” The grounds crew has not only used it to screen soil, but to screen pea gravel for playground enclosures, an old asphalt pile to reuse in unpaved service roads and rock dust that has been scraped from all-weather fields to be used ground depression filler. The organics that don’t pass through the screen, they are able to use for windrows to compost and will screen them again once they’ve broken down.
“We will have paid for the Greener Soil Screener in no time from what we will save in materials costs. The amount of stuff that we actually have to get rid off is insignificant,” says Tessier.
Why it’s “Greener”?
-Prevents wasted soil/product
-No Gasoline needed
-Allows for on-site screening
-Zero carbon footprint
-No mechanical parts
-Works with gravity – not vibrations
-Stops the spread of invasive plants
-No product goes to waste
-Limits truck transport
-Saves on cost
“We need to preserve the earth and when screening can be done at the job site with a machine that does not create pollution that is the way to go about it,” adds Nierop.