Landfill Honey Bees Are Creating A Buzz Thanks To One Tulsa Trash Man
In a bid to save the local bee population career trash man Kenneth Burkett and owner of American Waste Control started a bee farm at his landfill which has since grown to over 1,000,000 honey bees. The honey produced by the bees is known as landfill honey and has created quite a buzz in the area.
By: American Environmental Landfill
The bee idea blossomed a few years ago, after Kenneth Burkett, the company's owner and National Waste Hall of Fame inductee, heard about the plight of bees worldwide and wanted to do something to boost their numbers in the wild locally.
"You hear all the time about how bee populations are dropping off," said Burkett. "I just wanted to do my part in helping keep the bee population strong while also helping our local environment.
According to Burkett, the project started when his company was faced with the choice of using herbicides to control brush growth near power lines on AEL's property. Knowing that the chemicals could permanently impair the native bee population, Burkett decided to hand clear the bushes and set up beehives to help nurture the local bee population. Today, the bees produce two different kinds of "landfill honey," and visitors are often given a taste when they come for a tour.
"We are looking forward to a huge harvest this year," said Todd Green, Vice President of American Environmental Landfill. "These bees are very docile and make delicious honey. We're thrilled to have them around and boost pollination of many different kinds of plants and flowers around the region. It really makes us feel we're doing something important."
Asked whether he thought the Tulsa landfill was an unusual place to raise bees, Green said of course not: "It's the perfect spot, actually. We have wide-open spaces and a great, out of the way place where they won't be bothered. Besides, we really care about nature around here and want to do all we can to lend a helping hand."
There has been such a high demand for the sweet landfill honey that this year American Waste Control has decided to naturally process and package beeswax into lip balms that tell a very meaningful story. "The name Small Beginnings Bee Farm comes from Mr. Burkett's small beginnings in the waste industry starting with just one truck in 1979 and growing it into an over 135 truck operation," said Paul Ross, Vice President at American Waste Control. "We give it away, our vendors, customers and tour guests love it," Ross continued.
Over the past 30 years, American Waste Control has grown much like the colony of bees have made the landfill their home. "The honey bee has got to be the hardest working insects in our ecosystem… to produce one pound of honey, two million flowers must be visited. Something about it reminds me of the waste industry" Said Ross.
About American Environmental Landfill (AEL): American Environmental Landfill takes pride in maintaining a high level of service while meeting and exceeding state and national environmental standards. As a Subtitle 'D' landfill, AEL has been designated by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) as a leading landfill in the industry.
American Environmental Landfill is dedicated to environmental awareness, community service, and innovation. It is AEL's goal to continue to build a legacy around these core ideas while working to lead the Tulsa, Oklahoma area to a beautiful and more sustainable future. Within recent years AEL has implemented an innovative approach for using non-recyclable waste residue at its landfill to produce renewable energy and power homes. As a result, American Environmental Landfill provides electricity to a local power plant powering nearly 20,000 Oklahoma homes around the landfill, AEL is one of the only landfills in the Midwest to do so.
American Environmental Landfill is permitted to accept and manage solid waste, non-hazardous industrial waste, contaminated soil with no TPH restrictions, and is a preferred provider of liquid waste solidification in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas & Texas.
Page Updated Last on: May 05, 2019