Here’s proof that you don’t have to go high-tech to go green.
UW-Madison has always had a strong history of agriculture and livestock research, but recently the UW Campus has looked a bit more like a farm than usual. J.P. Cullen contractors had the help of some living lawnmowers, 32 goats to be exact, to help clear a steep hillside on Linden Drive as part of their renovation of the School of Human Ecology. Shane Swart, a J.P. Cullen site engineer said the goats were “more economical by far” than construction workers and gas-powered machinery.
More economical and more environmental, since the herd had an extremely low-carbon hoofprint, if you will, as they chomped and cleared bush and weeds, even clearing invasive species such as black locust, honeysuckle and buckthorn from the slope. These hardworking kids came from The Green Goats, of Burlington, Wisconsin, and performed quite well for their first job in an urban setting.
In other Madison news, a pilot residential composting program saved 14.4 tons from local landfills. Around 400 households participated in the program to test out a city organics collection service. For now, the compost is taken to a compost facility near Portage, but the long-term goal of the project is to set up an anaerobic digester in Dane County. This digester would produce methane gas, which could be used to generate electricity or even power vehicles.
Madison has always been on the lookout for the environment, and we applaud these creative approaches to using nature’s power for a greener future.
–By Ella Schwierske, Clean Wisconsin Communications Intern