Seeking Consensus on Composting

Apr 25, 2017

Sonoma County has been without a local composting operation for a year and a half. And it will be at least twice that long before a new one can get started. But the process is inching forward.

Steaming windrows at the old Sonoma Compost operation were unable to meet increasingly stringent standards regarding water runoff from the operation.
Credit Sonoma Compost

 When commercial composting was introduced in Sonoma County, roughly 20 years ago, by Sonoma Compost, the pioneering local operation was widely studied and imitated, recalls Patrick Carter, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

 But Sonoma Compost and the County were unable to keep pace with a changing regulatory environment, which led to the closure of the facility at the landfill in 2015. Since then, compostable materials have been trucked, at increased cost, to three other sites, all outside of Sonoma County. But Carter says establishing a new composting facility within the county is not expected to lead to lowered costs.  When commercial composting was introduced in Sonoma County, roughly 20 years ago, by Sonoma Compost, the pioneering local operation was widely studied and imitated, recalls Patrick Carter, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

For people who are interested in this issue, but can’t make it to the meeting this week, the Waste Management Agency has published this online survey.