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Sonoma County, Calif., Officials Seeking Composting Solution

Within the next few years the county will have a single main facility—or several smaller ones.

Sonoma County, Calif., currently ships its organic waste to neighboring counties. But county officials are seeking a local solution so they can stop the costly practice of shipping the waste to nearby counties for processing.

Within the next few years the county will have a single main facility—or several smaller ones—to process grass clippings, food scraps and other green waste.

The Press Democrat has the report:

It is not yet clear exactly what form a renewed regional compost operation — long a disputed county matter — would take. But the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency is advancing plans to bring in a private operator to handle the green waste from local cities, with a request for development proposals likely going out later this spring.

And the waste agency — which is on the cusp of securing a new lifeline from local governments — is looking to learn from its past troubles by shifting as much responsibility as possible onto the shoulders of the new private operator.

“Essentially, we’re just the customer at this point,” said Patrick Carter, the waste agency’s executive director. “We’re committing a flow of green waste to a private company on private land, where they assume all of the liabilities for making sure that it is in compliance and operating correctly, in exchange for us committing our flow for 10-plus years. It’s a different model.”

Read the full story here.

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