How to dispose of a 2-acre, 20-foot-high pile of wood waste at the city sewage lagoon calls for more study, according to Mayor Jeff Palmore.

The pile is comprised of logs and limbs picked up by the public works department from residents’ yards and city property.

The task of reducing the size of the heap could take days, Palmore said, but before work begins the cost to reduce the size and dispose of the residue need to be studied.

Public Works Commissioner Robert Brueggemann sought bids on a tub grinder to reduce the material to mulch. Two bids put the cost at $12,500 or $17,500.

Palmore said burning might be a more efficient and less costly way to dispose of debris than grinding it into chunks.

“There would be some cost involved,” he said. “We would have to rent equipment.”

In the past, the city has ground yard waste into mulch and made it available to residents, said Alderman Mike Pigg.

Palmore said using a tub grinder would produce larger pieces of wood, which would not be practical for mulch. He said if providing mulch for citizens is a goal, the city already owns the needed equipment.

“We own a new chipper that has never been used,” he said.

If a tub grinder is used to reduce the size of the pile, the city would still have a gigantic mountain of wood and stems, the mayor said.

“It’s big stuff that we would have to get rid of,” Palmore said. “Burning is a possible choice. We would probably need DNR permits and the Pacific Fire District would have to buy in.”

Palmore said the city should do more research on the cost of burning and the amount of waste burning the 2-acre pile would produce. Whatever is left, would still have to be disposed of.

“We may learn that a combination of grinding and burning the mulch may be quickest and the least costly way to get rid of it,” Palmore said. “It will burn fast when it is kindling size. Every method (of disposal) should be on the table.”