Company turns palm waste into animal food

Palm trees are a major part of our landscape in the valley, but if you own one you know how much of a mess it can be when it's time to trim them up. But now there is a good use for the palms, a way to turn them into food for livestock.

Palm fronds make up 3% of all the trash in our Phoenix landfill. City leaders want to reduce that number, by bringing in a California-based company "Palm Silage." The company grinds up palm fronds and turns them into livestock feed reducing tons of local waste.

The City of Phoenix may soon be turning palm trees into pellets. A food source for livestock that will eliminate tons of trash.

Gretchen Wolfe is a Project Manager for the City of Phoenix. She says palms end up in the landfill because they're hard to compost. California-based company "Palm Silage" wants to change that by grinding up our local palm fronds to make nutrient rich livestock feed.

"It's sweet because of the dates that are in there are highly nutritious as well, so this has lots of uses across the farming industry," said Gretchen Wolfe.

It all was inspired by a trip to China when the founder of Palm Silage was there he saw animals eating palm fronds off the ground and thought why don't we try this back in the U.S.?"

"This livestock feed is already sold here in Arizona, so this will give us an opportunity to sell even more of it in our community," said Wolfe.

Palm Silage plans to build a processing facility at Phoenix's 27th Ave landfill. Diverting the palms from the landfill to make feed will save the city about $170,000 a year.

"It's really exciting to see that were taking a product that would have gone in the landfill and instead were using it to improve our community," said Wolfe.

Phoenix City Council will discuss bringing Palm Silage to the valley this month. If approved, the city hopes to have processing plant up and running next summer.