waste reduction

Returning Commercial Composting to Sonoma County

Dec 12, 2016

The process of setting up a new composting operation in Sonoma is finally taking its first steps. But in the meantime, both residents and compost users are paying significantly more.

Supervisors Back Medicine Disposal Program

Oct 5, 2016

Sonoma County Supervisors this week signaled their intention to apply the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility to pharmaceuticals, through a new ordinance to require the safe collection of extra or unwanted medicines.

While industry resistance persists, there is clear public support for the Extended Producer Responsibility approach advanced by county supervisors. The Water Agency's Susan Keach provided some figures for that, too.

This comes as no surprise to the California Product Stewardship Council's Heidi Sanborn.

Green Mary's Lending Library

Apr 27, 2016
Robin Latham, Green Mary

  For minimizing garbage, nothing beats reusing things. That’s why Green Mary has assembled an unconventional lending library of plates, glasses and other event essentials.

Rethinking Single-stream Recycling

Dec 7, 2015
North Bay Corporation

  Expanded recycling programs, such as here in Sonoma County, have succeeded in cutting the waste stream going into the dump. But the economics behind them are not working out as expected. And that is leading to some reconsideration.

Long-time recycling advocate Mike Anderson, the current chair of the Sonoma County Solid Waste Management Task Force, contends that one factor in North Bay Corporation’s higher-than-permitted volume of “residuals” at their Standish Avenue sorting facility is the age of the equipment in use there.

Recycling on the Ropes

Dec 5, 2015

  The economics of recycling are driven by oil prices, environmental regulations, and consumer demand. But the results are being felt by local garbage haulers and their customers

   The economic factors that affect international markets vary from one material to the next, explains Eric Koenigshofer of North Bay Corporation. Purchase prices for both cardbord and plastics are down sharply, but for quite different reasons.

Medicine Disposal Requirements Upheld

May 28, 2015

In a decision reaching from Washington to your medicine cabinet, the US Supreme Court has held that local governments can require pharmaceutical companies to take responsibility for the collection and disposal of their excess products.

Heidi Sanborn,  Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council, says laws such as the Alameda ordinance, are advancing the concept of “Extended Producer Responsibility,” which is a critical component of overall efforts to reduce consumer waste.

‘Upcycling’ surplus tomatoes

Nov 26, 2014
Kate Webber Photography (http://katewebber.com/)

  Better than just recycling, “upcycling” uses waste materials to create new products with increased value. Laci Sandoval is doing exactly that with surplus tomatoes.

Laci Sandoval says the success of her pilot partnership with County Line Harvest is not a business she intends to pursue for herself, but a demonstration model for other, smaller farmers in the area.