HOUSTON, TX | 58 years ago In South Houston, TX, Noah Martini’s grandfather, R. H Martini, opened and operated a sandpit. After the sand was depleted he converted the property to a construction & demolition waste landfill, Casco Landfill, where it remains to this day. Around 2010, after Noah’s grandfather retired, he and his father, Rick Martini, took over the business and looked to expand their range of services.
Since Noah assumed control of the business, it’s grown from a traditional landfill to more of a material recovery operation.
In 2021, Noah launched Casco Organics, a dynamic recycling operation that processes construction & demolition waste, offers mulch and soil products, and soon, a composting operation. Casco Organics was an official rebrand of their initial organics recycling operations. For Noah, it wasn’t enough to just run the landfill – he saw a future where they can help the earth while continuing to profit and support their existing business.
“I’ve watched people and companies dump trash my whole life,” said Noah. “The amount of waste is extraordinary. I thought, why just bury this when there is still a lot of beneficial reuse and potential from the products in the landfill?”
Material recovery is a significantly different operation than a landfill. It requires a vision, the right people, and the right equipment. Martini had the vision and the people to get going, but he needed the equipment. He settled on Doppstadt equipment, from McCourt Equipment and Ecoverse, and hasn’t looked back since.
For the first stage of processing, Casco leans on the Doppstadt shredders. Martini’s first purchase was the Doppstadt DW 3060K shredder, which is still in use today. While it’s more of their backup machine at this point, it’s far from retired.
“I’ll never get rid of that machine,” Martini said. “That’s the workhorse there — you can feed it anything. The first thing we fed it was a 747-airplane tire, and it ate it with no problem. If there is something people look at and think it can’t be shredded, we’re throwing it in the 3060K.”
When Doppstadt released the latest shredder, the next-generation INVENTHOR 6 Plus, Casco was enthusiastically added it to their operation. Some of the new innovations the INVENTHOR has over the DW 3060K include a tipping hopper, shaft speed adjustability and reversing, and most notably, the ability to adjust the shredding comb to vary the product size. These new features took the already versatile Doppstadt shredder to the next level. Additionally, the Inventhor 6 Plus features a powerful 415 hp Cat engine.
“The versatility of the INVENTHOR is immense. In the morning, I can be shredding tires. In the afternoon I can be shredding trees. By evening, I can be shredding C&D and make all those adjustments on the fly,” said Noah.
Regardless of whether the material is for recycling or dumping in the landfill, most materials brought to Casco are first thrown into the INVENTHOR 6 Plus shredder to break them down for an initial primary shred. The C&D waste is shredded and sent over an Ecoverse SS 603 Sorting Station, where recoverable products are picked. Logs, brush, pallets, and other green waste are shredded and sent for a finished sizing via a Doppstadt AK 235 or their brand-new AK 640K high-speed grinder.
Casco’s new AK 640K has impressed Martini to say the least. From the first demonstration at his site, he knew it was better than the competitor unit he almost purchased. While the AK is not a traditional, open-ended, high-horsepower grinder, the AK 640K has more than proven its value. It’s built-in fail-safes, such as the upswing, flail hammermill, and the nitrogen accumulator kick open and close screen grate system, allow grinding of waste wood without fear of catastrophic mill damage from contaminants.
“I’ve been really impressed with how the AK 640K handles metal. The energy has somewhere to go with those swinging hammers,” said Noah. “With the fixed hammers of other machines, there is nowhere for the energy to go except for the tooth and the rotor.”
“It’s a sneaky high-production machine,” Noah continued. “If you sit and watch it, because of its size and appearance, it doesn’t seem like it’s producing that much. But when you get into it and look at the throughput, it’s outproducing its competitors without a doubt,” Noah added.
By pre-shredding with the INVENTHOR 6, the AK 640K doesn’t need to work quite as hard, saving on wear parts and fuel consumption, although, none of the Doppstadt machines are gas guzzlers – “Doppstadt machines sip fuel, they don’t drink it,” said Martini.
With an equipment spread built on the back of Doppstadt quality, Casco can divert plastics, wood, concrete, metal, and more from the landfill. For example, logs, green waste, brush, pallets, and dimensional lumber are ground up and made into mulch and biofuel. By screening the ground material through their Doppstadt SM 720.2 trommel, the fines can be used in soil products, such as enriched topsoil, potting mix, and garden blends.
As their production and reach grows, Casco has continued to invest in more machines that help streamline their production. Their most recent purchase was an Ecostack 8036K conveyor, which saves loader time and material handling by allowing for massive material stockpiles to be built. It streamlines the entire day for his operators.
“We made a stockpile that was over 400 yards – and we didn’t have to move the machines,” said Noah. “In the past we’d need to move the machines multiple times to get away from the piles.”
More machines mean more work and maintenance, but Noah and Casco don’t worry too much about that, since McCourt Equipment, the Ecoverse distributor for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, has always been there to assist, train or repair.
“Britt Reid and Cary Estes at McCourt Equipment have been instrumental in our growth by always being timely and economical on keeping our equipment running,” said Noah. “They have also coordinated with Ecoverse to get us all training and operational information needed for each one of our Doppstadt machines so our operators and management can use the machines to their fullest potential in the field and on paper.”
For Casco, the future of the business is bright. From its roots as a landfill, a dynamic recycling operation has grown from Noah Martini and his family’s vision. The old principles of business – building connections, investing in people, and using the right equipment has proved true once again in Houston, TX. What’s next for Casco?
“We are thinking of expanding into more complex composting in the future and we have also discussed using our own products to support mini farms within the city and surrounding areas,” said Noah.
To learn more about Casco Landfill and their services, please visit their website at cascolandfill.com