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[GreenYes] Re: [CRRA] Ordinances that facilitate on-farm composting

Hello all:

Regarding the regulations governing composting on farms in Pennsylvania:

I respectfully submit that using the word "waste" when what you actually mean is "recycle nutrients" is just the worst industrial positioning imaginable for composting. Wastes are worthless, but nutrients, properly managed, can be quite valuable.

I've seen waste composting, and it wasn't pretty. I just remember an unusually very smelly dirty mrf in Michigan somewhere and a big nearby field on which was parked a forlorn compost turning machine with its flails completely fouled and immobilized by film plastic bags. The compost windrows were full of plastic and who knows what else. But the field they sat on was a real field used for corn/soybean rotation. That dirt got a big dose of garbage, some of which is probably still there.

What does it matter that the materials have been discarded from one source, so long as they can become valuable feedstocks after they've been upgraded by recovery enterprises to market specs? Clean in, Clean out. Source separation is best practice. Nutrient recycling is best positioning. Regulations should say what we want, not just what we don't want. And farmers using clean nutrient recycling practices should be regulated least, not most.

Regulations need to be rewritten top to bottom to remove waste management vocabulary, which stifles and retards ecologically superior disposal methods. There are better ways to talk about what we do.

Thanks for the chance to comment.

Dan Knapp
Urban Ore, Inc., a Berkeley reuse and recycling business.

On Jun 19, 2007, at 4:44 PM, Gary Liss wrote:


Consider the regulations governing composting on farms in Pennsylvania. That's supposed to be a model:

On-Farm Composting (PA Dept. of Environmental Protection) Also, check out the following fact sheets and guides:


At 03:47 PM 6/19/2007, Stephanie Barger wrote:
Hi Michael

You might want to check with some actual farms/farming

Fetzer wines uses alot of composting and we just had Strauss Family Farms speak at our Zero Waste event and they get 95% of all their energy from their manure and then use the residual for composting!

Stephanie Barger, Executive Director
Earth Resource Foundation
P.O. Box 12364
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

"Learn more about Zero Waste! Presentations from Earth Resource Foundation's Second Annual Orange County "Zero In on Zero Waste: Don't Let Your Bottom Line Go to Waste" Conference on June 7th, 2007 are posted

From: crra_members@no.address [ mailto:crra_members@no.address] On Behalf Of Wonsidler, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 9:22 AM
To: crra_members@no.address; GreenYes@no.address; zerowaste_sd@no.address
Subject: [CRRA] Ordinances that facilitate on-farm composting
Importance: High

The County of San Diego is discussing revising local ordinances to promote on-farm composting. Our region has a strong agricultural community (Over 6,000 farms, ranks 5th in nation in agricultural value), however our current local regulations are restrictive when it comes to composting at farms. As a vital part of an comprehensive organic materials management strategy, we view returning organic materials to farms as ideal locations to encourage composting.

Can anyone send information on jurisdictions with ordinances that promote on farm composting? We'd like to review model ordinances before considering crafting our own.

Thanks for any leads!

Michael Wonsidler
Recycling Specialist II
County of San Diego
Public Works | Solid Waste Planning and Recycling
office: 858.874.4081
fax: 858.874.4058
5469 Kearny Villa Road | Suite 305 | San Diego, California 92123


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Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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