Bernson's Corner: The low down on the stinky clean up
In the world of horses, the Alltech Equestrian Games are the World Series, Super Bowl and Olympics rolled into one. Competitors have spent two weeks cleaning up prizes, and now you'll learn there's nothing left to do after the games, but clean up.
A thousand horses from 60 nations: elegance, grace and glory. That's what the Alltech World Equestrian Games has been all about.
Equestrian Kate Alderford-Candela says, "Where there are horses, there's poop. Plenty of poop."
The horses may get to eat the best food money can buy, but what goes in must come out. Thing is the horses are surely not housebroken which tends to take away from the elegance, grace and glory. So, that's where the manure meister comes in.
Andy Reynolds doesn't ride a noble steed, but an electric golf cart. Still, he's the unsung hero of the Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.
"I used to work on a farm with animals and hay and terbacker and stuff like that," says Andy Reynolds. You gotta keep these rings pretty clean, 'cause it gets down into that new footin' and stuff, and it's hard to get out. --That's an expensive surface. -- Yes it is, very expensive," explains Reynolds.
The horses are magnificent athletes, but it's what they leave behind that Mr. Reynolds spends 10 or 12 hours a day collecting. From the buckets the stuff goes into to the concrete manure pits that are emptied every few hours.
The muck and manure gets piled up at the edge of the Horse Park, then it's put into 40-cubic yard dumpsters and hauled off to a landfill in Georgetown, Kentucky. However, this is the old way. The new way involves something called the Biomass Gasification Unit. We could call it a Super-Duper Pooper Scooper.
It's basically a giant state-of-the-art furnace, designed to turn waste into electricity, and it'll be operational later this year.
Lindsey Flora with the Kentucky Horse Park says, "All the money that's paying for the plant you see here, it's about $2,000,000. And what it does--we're saving $200,000 in hauling costs, $80,000 a year in electricity credits...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that's a good investment."
But all the mathematics, the money and the magnificence of equine competition doesn't amount to a pile of you-know-what to Andy Reynolds. He's perfectly satisfied to keep his title as the Duke of Dookie.
Reynolds joyfully explains, "As long as they're doing their job, I got a job. Heh! I'm just a manure man. Heh, heh, heh!"