a red fire truck with firefighters in the distance. A sun setting in the horizon with clouds of grey smoke covering the air.
A fire broke out at The Knox County Compost facility Wednesday afternoon. Credit: Submitted

MOUNT VERNON – A machine fire at Knox County’s compost site earlier this week proved to be costly.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, Mount Vernon Fire Department Chief Chad Christopher said, noting an estimated $3 million worth of equipment damage was caused by the blaze.

The Mount Vernon Fire Department was sent to the compost facility, located at 7425 Thayer Road, around 3:13 p.m. on Wednesday after reports of a compost machine catching on fire.

Knox County Litter Prevention and Recycling Program Manager Matt Baugher said the compost grinder machine wasn’t operational when the fire started and the facility wasn’t damaged.

The machinery, contracted by Marion-based Park Enterprise, is contracted by the county to grind compostable material twice in a calendar year.

Though compostable materials aren’t being grinned due to the fire, Baugher says the delay shouldn’t slow down community drop-offs in the longterm and drop-offs are still allowed.

Homer Fire Department and Central Ohio Joint Fire District assisted on scene with water supply, Christopher said.

This independent, local reporting provided by our Report for America Corps members is brought to you in part by the generous support of the Knox County Foundation and Kokosing.

I am a Report For America corps member at Knox Pages. I report on public education in the county as well as workforce development. I first landed at Knox Pages in June 2022.