Payne’s Nurseries and Greenhouses, Inc. (POSY) has been doing business in Santa Fe since 1952 and is a well-respected company in the community. They are experts in horticulture and agronomy and large consumers of mulch and compost because they are essential elements for their business.
Throughout 65+ years in the nursery business, Payne’s developed a deep knowledge of the soils in northern New Mexico and how living, growing plants react to the composition of these soils. They learned how to use organic matter — decomposed plants and animals — to improve alkaline clay soils to help them provide more nutrients and better drainage in our high desert climate.
In 1995, their company built Payne’s Organic Soil Yard (POSY) where, among other things, they accepted green yard waste, food waste and horse manure, then mixed them together so they would decompose and form compost while keeping tons of material out of the local landfill.
Over the next 20+ years POSY bought all of the necessary equipment — screens, tractors, trucks, etc. — to prepare, maintain, sell and deliver these products to local residents, landscaping businesses and governmental agencies.
When the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management (SFSWMA) was looking for a company to be responsible for all their composting operations in 2015, POSY was selected as the best candidate from among a field of several companies. The Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency’s Joint Powers Board awarded a contract to Payne’s Nursery to operate the registered compost facility at the Caja del Rio Landfill through a competitive RFP process.
Today, most of the green waste recycled in Santa Fe is taken to the Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station (BuRRT) where it is ground into chips. Those chips are transferred to the Caja del Rio Landfill complex where the composting process begins. The green waste is mixed into piles with food waste, manure, cardboard, paper and other decomposable materials that break down into compost.
Over a period of 14 months, strict moisture and temperature levels are maintained in the piles and they are turned regularly to completely mix and aerate the ingredients so the decomposition process is properly completed.
When it is ready, the compost is trucked to POSY and made available for sale to landscapers and homeowners.