The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students smell environmentalism on NW Campus

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

For two weeks, a pervasive smell covered NW Campus day and night.Most students had no idea what it was, though a few had good guesses.

“It smelled like a litter box to me,” said NW student Paige Short. “It was all around the school, must have been coming from the lake or something.”

Ramzy Coleman, fellow NW student, agreed on the smell’s similarity to fecal matter.

“It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever smelled in my life,” Coleman said. “It smelled like poop. That’s all it smelled like for a week.”

What students were smelling was made up primarily of chicken manure, but it wasn’t coming from the lake — it was coming from the grass.

About two and a half weeks ago, NW Campus’ groundskeeping crew sprayed Perfect Blend fertilizer on all the grassy areas.

“We went green a few years ago. We kind of went kicking and screaming on it,” said Mike Krieg, the campus’ head groundskeeper. “We are finding products. We are improving.”

Krieg said that the campus had used petroleum-based fertilizers before, and though they didn’t smell, they simply weren’t as good.

“Petroleum products, it’s kind of like feeding your kids sugar,” he said. “It’s not a complete food source.”

Krieg spoke glowingly of this type of fertilizer, however.

“They’re using this stuff in the Middle East now,” he said. “It, in conjunction with the plants, is actually being converted into topsoil. It’s that good.”

Krieg said the fertilizer is carefully treated from the beginning. The chickens used for it are fed the same foods every day for consistent results. Then, when the waste enters the treatment plant, it is put in a kinetic processor that kills all pathogens, weed seeds and spores. It is then hydrolyzed. Micro-nutrients are added, and then the whole package is granulated and processed in heat.

The fertilizer works by providing nutrients for the microorganisms that live in soil. These microorganisms, in turn, maintain their habitat, which keeps the grass healthy. Eventually, Krieg says, this microscopic environment will be so healthy that the fertilizer will be unnecessary.

Krieg was not unaware of the putrid smell on campus.

“It would cost a lot more to get a bit of the smell out … I think we can deal with a few days of stink when it’s doing so much good,” he said. “We finished putting it in today [Oct. 12], so only for about another week.”

For some students, such as Suzo Frazier, this just wasn’t enough.

“First couple of days, it was horrendous. Like, miss-class kind of horrendous,” said Frazier, who said she still attended classes. “It’s nice to know that it’s organic, but … I know people who would go the long way, be late to class because they would not go outside.”

Other students, like Eden Bainglass, had an easier time coping and an easier time forgiving.

“It was tolerable at first. It’s tolerable now,” Bainglass said. “But now, you’ve put a bigger picture on it. I’m glad people are taking steps to be more eco-friendly.”

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