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Contact Region 9

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Organics: Composting
Regional Initiatives

Region 9 Organic Material Management Goals:

  • develop innovative solutions to avoid generating waste
  • incorporate environmental education when promoting organics recovery
  • promote sustainable resource recovery
  • develop strategies that promote a more integrated and strategic approach to resource management
  • optimum use of organic matter and organic residuals

Region 9 Organic Material Management Strategies

  • Encourage and recognize community and industry initiatives to reduce waste through organics recovery
  • Support the creation of industries dealing in recovery of unwanted materials
  • Provide technical assistance for farmers/composters/waste operators
  • Support the development of uniform compost quality standards to increase production, marketability and proper use
  • Support development of Local Organic Recovery Programs

Recent Region 9 Grant Projects

City of Santa Monica- Increasing Recycling Rate by Labeling PLA Plastic and Digesting Food Waste
The City of Santa Monica is a local authority with a strong zero waste goal and greater than 60% diversion. They are in a position to expand their food waste and biodegradable collection programs because of a recent ban on non-recyclable plastic food service containers. An increasing problem nationwide is the inability to differentiate between compostable plastic (PLA) and recyclable plastic. This grant works with PLA manufacturers to create a marking – such as a green line – for PLA containers so that they are properly sorted and composted. Secondly, the project aims to boost their anaerobic digestion of food waste by creating a cleaner food waste feedstock. This grant will yield measurable #s, namely tons of organic waste sent to anaerobic digestion.
Contact: Tom Huetteman (huetteman.tom@epa.gov)
(415) 972-3751

East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, CA, FY07 $50,000
Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste

This project aimed to provide guidelines for the anaerobic digestion of food waste and to demonstrate its benefits. This is in an effort to encourage diversion of food waste from landfills and composting. The project was implemented through a bench-scale anaerobic digestion pilot study that determined optimum food waste design/operating criteria and methane production rates. The bench study developed criteria that can be used to foster a new market where food waste will be a resource for renewable energy production. Full report.
Contact: Tom Huetteman (huetteman.tom@epa.gov)
(415) 972-3751

New Found Land Institute Exiting EPA (disclaimer), Wisconsin, FY07, $57,000
Model Expanded Organics Programs and Demonstrations

The focus of this project is on expanding local recycling programs to include food waste and other organic materials composting. This will be accomplished by developing a guide to best policies and programs, encouraging expansion of current recycling programs into expanded compost and to demonstrate the best practices in a new community composting program that is on the verge of expanding. The end result will include a pilot demonstration with a local government agency, the above mentioned guide, a coordinated educational campaign for prospective communities, recommendations for further research to best realize the potential for expanded composting and a best practices demonstration in Region 9. In addition to this summary document (PDF) (2 pp, 296K, About PDF), you can view the full report and more information on organic waste collection at Beyond Recycling Exiting EPA (disclaimer).
Contact: Tom Huetteman (huetteman.tom@epa.gov)
(415) 972-3751

Sustainable Conservation Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
This San Francisco-based non-profit, is working in California on a partnership with EPA Region 9, the dairy industry, and Merced County to demonstrate an innovative model of manure and green waste management that benefits both the agricultural and municipal sectors. The project will use the existing municipal composting infrastructure to establish a dairy manure/green waste co-composting operation.

The Center for Environmental Economic Development (CEED) Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
CEED is developing a Rural Organics Recycling Board (ORB). The focus of the ORB project is to increase the marketing of locally composted commercial organics in rural Northern California counties. Tools will be developed for community outreach and on ways to implement rural organics recycling in California.

City of Sacramento Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
The city offers grant funding to explore the economic feasibility of co-composting yard trimmings and agricultural manure. The project has two objectives: to expand markets for municipal yard trimmings and to explore new management options for manure from dairy and other animal operations. A manure management system that co-composts yard trimmings and animal manure will lessen the impacts on ground and surface waters and divert organic waste from landfilling.

California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
CIWMB actively funds programs and projects--in partnership with local governments, compost producers, users of compost and mulch, and others--that promote waste prevention and recycling of organic materials. CIWMB, with grant funds, developed and distributed fact sheets and videos to the agricultural community to promote five CIWMB sponsored compost demonstration projects.

Animal Waste Management in EPA Region 9

Learn about manure management (including land application of manure), animal wastes and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Region 9.

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