Complimentary compost available on Saturdays, part of OC’s growing organic matter recycling program – Orange County Register

Orange County residents can receive free compost for their landscaping and gardens at any of the county’s three public landfills on Saturday, November 5.

The compost giveaway is a new thing OC Waste & Recycling is trying. It conducted a dry run only at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill in Irvine in March and received good response and interest in making more compost available, officials said.

And with new organic waste management programs, more compost is available.

In 2016, new state laws put a much greater focus on recycling organic matter so it doesn’t end up in landfills, taking up valuable space and contributing to methane emissions, said David Tieu, associate director of OC Waste & Recycling.

To meet new expectations for garden clippings disposal and now, more recently with new laws taking effect this year, for food waste uses, the agency opened two major composting facilities at its Bowerman landfill and its Prima Deshecha landfill in San Juan Capistrano and in January expects to open one at its Olinda Alpha landfill in Brea.

At the moment, the compost that is produced for public use comes from garden clippings that are hauled to landfills. OC Waste & Recycling has developed a process for composting this waste and has had it certified with the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance.

Saturday is expected to be the first of several future giveaways – it’s also geared towards educating residents about recycling ahead of America Recycles Day on November 15 – and the agency will also update its website with information on how to collect bulk compost may be at the Irvine and San Juan Capistrano landfills, Tieu said.

About 40% of the material hauled to local landfills is organic waste, so there’s a “great opportunity” for the agency to ingest that material, compost it and make it available for use, he said.

Composting garden clippings into quality compost that can be properly certified is a first step. The processes and technology to do this safely with food waste will be developed next, he said, and the facility in Brea that is being developed is expected to open with that technology.

The Saturday Compost Giveaway runs from 9am to 3pm while supplies last. If you plan on getting compost in Irvine or San Juan Capistrano, residents should bring a shovel and container or heavy-duty garden waste bags to load the compost — 60 gallons maximum. In Brea, pre-filled sacks of compost are being distributed – limited to four sacks per household.

The composting facilities are:

  • Bee Canyon Greenery, 11002 Bee Canyon Access Road, Irvine
  • Capistrano Greenery, 32250 Avenida La Pata, San Juan Capistrano
  • Valencia Greenery, 1942 N. Valencia Ave., Brea

Information: Complimentary compost available on Saturdays, part of OC’s growing organic matter recycling program – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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