The 2009 Vegetation Management and Forestry Applicators National Environmental Respect Award winning business is Northeast Rural Services (NRS), Inc., Vinita, OK. NRS maintains electric transmission and distribution line right-of-ways through an active herbicide application program. “We began back in the mid-1970s maintaining our local distribution right-of-ways,” explains David Cusick, right-of-way manager. “We learned that after several applications it became easier to maintain the areas and we eliminated woody plants, allowing grass and broadleaf plants to flourish.”
• Video: 2009 ERA Presentation
Over the years, NRS developed an efficient container recycling system partnering with a national recycling firm. “I discovered that over the past 10 years, we recycled 45,000 herbicide jugs,” says Cusick. “When you’ve kept that many containers out of the landfill, you feel like you’ve done something significant to help the environment.”
NRS has now discovered that reusable containers save time and the environment. Herbicides are ordered from a firm that fills product mixes in 30-gallon reusable containers. “The containers are taken to the field and through a closed system mixed with water in larger 300-gallon tanks,” explains Cusick.