The D.H. Smith & Sons wood waste operation in Marshfield, Massachusetts. The business is planning to open a second location off Airport Road in Waterville. Photo courtesy of D.H. Smith & Sons

WATERVILLE — A Massachusetts business that recycles clean, natural wood waste into mulch and other materials is set to open at 135 Airport Road in Waterville.

Dan Smith, owner of D.H. Smith & Sons of Marshfield, Massachusetts, told the Planning Board last Monday the recycling facility, Smith Forest Products, will accept brush, logs, chunk wood, stumps, grass, leaves and wood chips.

Contractors and homeowners may bring debris to the facility for a fee. The waste is then recycled into mulch or other products.

Smith is under contract to buy the lot from the city for $60,000. The site is about 3 acres at the south end of Airport Road.

The wood waste is ground, seasoned and color enhanced as part of the process, according to the company, and stumps are sheared, cleaned and ground. Remaining wood chips and grindings are made into mulch products.

The Planning Board voted 7-0 on Monday to approve plans for the 6,400-square-foot facility, which is expected to have between three and six employees.

Calling the operation “green waste recycling,” Smith said it would take mostly wood waste from the forest.

“We like to cater to the landscapers, the arborists, the tree guys, the local tree clearers,” he said.

Smith said he planned to clear and grade the site this year. While he had also planned to erect a building this year, he said he recently received a quote on metal buildings and the price had doubled, so he will wait to see if prices decrease.

“Hopefully, the pricing starts to moderate,” Smith said. “They really skyrocketed over the winter.”

Smith said he will probably be the contractor for the facility — he built his operation in Marshfield. He said construction could take a year. In a perfect world, he said, work would begin this summer and continue inside the building over the winter.

“But it may bump a year because of this crazy pricing that’s going on,” he said.

Smith said his hope is the Waterville operation is like his business in Marshfield. He said a shop that deals in sales, service and parts for power equipment will be part of the business, including on-site mechanics.

The D.H. Smith & Sons wood waste operation in Marshfield, Massachusetts. The business is planning to open a second location off Airport Road in Waterville. Photo courtesy of D.H. Smith & Sons

Planning Board member Uria Pelletier, a contractor, said he considered Airport Road a good location for Smith’s facility.

“I’m excited for it,” Pelletier said. “I think it will do great up here. I wish you all the best.”

People who bring in wood waste to be recycled would pay a fee based on the vehicle or truck size, according to Smith. The fee covers the cost of recycling and ensuring what is brought in is of good quality. It must be clean wood waste, he said.

Board member Tom DePre echoed Pelletier’s sentiments, saying he thought the business works well in the city’s industrial zone. He asked Smith if the facility would produce noise and odors.

Smith said the business in Marshfield has never had a complaint.

“We are very respectful of our neighbors and our surroundings,” he said.

The grinder, he said, does make noise and the mulch emits a wood smell.

“I love the smell of it,” he said. “It’s spruce fir bark. It’s all organic.”

Smith said his hope is to eventually buy more of the adjacent land and then use a chipper, which is louder. But the rear of the property runs along Interstate 95, so any noise should not affect people.

On one side of the property, a marijuana-growing operation is being developed, and the other side is undeveloped city property, according to Don Plourde of Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate, the city’s broker for the sale.

Smith said he chose Waterville because his company gets most of its bark from northern Maine and he has a local friend with whom he rides snowmobiles. That friend, he said, recommended Waterville as a good halfway point between Marshfield, Massachusetts, and northern Maine.

Smith said his friend told him the Waterville area is booming right now, so Smith drove up and checked it out. The site, he said, is similar to his operation on Marshfield — in an industrial zone and along the highway.

“I love the way the (city) is growing,” Smith said. “It’s a perfect fit for us.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.