Our United Taconite operations in Minnesota, a local farmer, the municipal waste plant and the community at large are all the beneficiaries of a unique initiative in which our reclaimed tailings basin serves as fertile farmland.
- The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD), near our United Taconite facilities, needs to dispose of its biosolids.
- Cliffs provides the WLSSD relief from the cost of disposing of this material, which would typically otherwise be sent to landfills, through the beneficial reuse of the biosolids as a fertilizer.
- Cliffs allows a local dairy farmer to use our tailings basin land to grow and manage an alfalfa crop, which the farmer uses to feed his cattle.
- In turn, the farmer supplies Cliffs with the mulch that we use to control dust and keep it from impacting the surrounding community, resulting in a savings to the company of $30,000-$50,000.
You can read more about the partnerships we make with local communities in our 2009 Sustainability Report, Committed to the Global Community.