With its 2001 acquisition of Westvac Environmental Services, Parker Ag Services started providing composting services. Westvac had been providing transportation and composting services since 1997 to a number of wastewater treatment facilities in Summit County, Colorado. The Climax composting site near Leadville, Colorado, has the highest elevation of any composting site in the United States, at 11,200 feet, and receives an average of more than 270 inches of snow annually. However, based upon techniques developed specifically for the high altitude, a program has been developed over the years using static aerated piles in order to compost materials year round. This program received a special award from the USEPA for biosolids management in 2001.
At the Climax site, Parker Ag is responsible for a large-scale diversion program that uses wood chips, primarily from timber clearing projects, as part of the composting operation. This provides an alternative to dumping them in a landfill or burning them on site. The Class A EQS product produced is used to reclaim spoil areas at the Climax mine, which is visible from Highway 91.
Because of this success, Parker Ag is now both expanding this site and developing new sites around the mountainous area of Colorado to deal with the increasing volumes of biosolids being generated and the decreasing agricultural land available for applying them.