A local man has invented a new way to recycle used dirt, sand or gravel and it’s completely enviro-friendly.
“What it does is take rocks and sticks and debris out of the soil, but it does it the environmental way,” says Klaas Nierop, president of Greener Sand and Soil Screener.
He first got the idea almost 12 years ago, while working at Art Knapp in Kelowna. There was a large pile of soil and mulch that nobody wanted, so Nierop decided there must be some way to reuse the earth.
“I built myself the first prototype out of some steel I had laying around, and that was the first soil screener that I invented,” says Nierop.
That first prototype used four posts and a chain link fence for the mesh. After successfully testing the screener, he patented it in both Canada and the United Sates.
“We started manufacturing in Kelowna and have sold 30 units around the city,” says Nierop.
“Over the years I have improved on it and now we’ve gone to the golf courses because they use a lot of sand on the golf course and they always have the problem of little rocks in it too.”
Golf courses in Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Summerland and Princeton have all jumped on board the past two years and school districts as far away as Coquitlam have also tested the product in their playgrounds and baseball diamonds.
“The nice thing is this doesn’t have any moving parts,” explains Nierop.
“There are no grease nipples. It doesn’t have a motor that makes it shake, its totally environmentally friendly and its built in Kelowna.”
The surface screen is also adjustable, which allows the user to choose how fine the end product will be.
“I think people are under the impression that a soil screener has to shake, and 99.9 per cent of all screeners on the market today are all shakers,” says Nierop.
“Now for shakers you need an engine or a source of energy to do that. I believe in keeping it simple and the environment. You don’t need to worry about it breaking down, you don’t need to put oil in it, and you don’t pollute the air by keeping the engine running.”