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[greenyes] Portola Valley System
I believe the quality of the compost from Portola Valley would meet the
concerns raised by Peter Anderson.  First, all of the compost is marketed,
mostly to local landscapers and nurseries, with only a small residue to ag

I have lots of photos from the Z-Best site, the first showing the process,
the material pre-screening, and post-screening.  I would be willing to send
them to anyone that is interested, but I understand that I can't post photos
on GreenYes.

Further, I would say that the Portola Valley system has an advantage over
the system described by Peter -- Everything is collected in a single pass
with a single truck, there is no need to run the second truck once-a-month
to collect the other dry material.

Wouldn't it be fun if people had to pay as much to trash something as they
did to buy it!  This would certainly encourage better buying habits and
reuse/repair of items.
Richard Gertman
Environmental Planning Consultants
1885 The Alameda, Suite 120
San Jose, CA 95126-1732
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Anderson" <anderson@no.address>
To: "GreenYes" <greenyes@no.address>
Cc: "Richard Gertman" <richard@no.address>
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 9:39 AM
Subject: [greenyes] System for Curbside Composting

> I hear Rich Gertman's article and follow on explanation for the expanded
> recycling program he developed for Portola Valley.
> As Rich mentions, whenever you're trying to do something innovative for a
> small community, you're subject to whatever infrastructure is already
> around, because no one is likely to make major investments for a small
> return.
> When we look to the broader future going forward for a wider audience and
> without those constraints that Portola Valley faced, I share Eric's
> that the composting that is going on bears too close a ressemblance to
> waste processing, and until I see if for myself, I find it exceedingly
> difficult to conceive of it producing a reliable compost quality material
> that can be marketed.
> As I've mentioned in prior postings, pending careful pilot demonstrations
> for validation, I tend to think that the most effective and economical
> approach would divide the baby differently.
> Remembering that most of the organic fraction in our waste stream is
> and only a third of that, food scraps, the total compostables are more
> 60% of what's trashed in America (tho not CA), which, were it composted
> combined with the recyclable diversion would exceed 75% of waste
> we could have a weekly split truck for recyclables and compostables,
> the inert residues for monthly collection. That would save 3 out of 4
> hauls and internalize an incentive for folks to properly separate all of
> their organics from the trash to avoid having it hang around for a month.
> Admittedly I don't have the hard numbers and demonstration of feasibility
> yet, but that's where I suspect the optimal future lies.
> Peter
> ______________________________
> Peter Anderson
> 4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
> Madison, WI 53705
> Ph:    (608) 231-1100
> Fax:   (608) 233-0011
> Cell    (608) 438-9062
> email: anderson@no.address
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