Agromin, California’s largest organics waste recycler, received approval from the Merced County Board of Supervisors on April 20 to operate and expand the Merced Highway 59 landfill composting operation. The Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority (MCRWMA) recommended that the board retain Agromin for an initial 10 years. Agromin began operations on the site July 1 and is processing collected green waste, and eventually food scraps, into compost and mulch.
Agromin began operations by using the existing facility on the site. An additional composting facility will be added to expand intake capacity. Currently, the site is permitted to accept up to 25,000 tons of green waste annually. Once the expansion is complete, it will process up to 100,000 tons per year.
A push to increase green waste recycling and the use of recycled organic products is taking place throughout California. Under California Senate Bill 1383, the amount of green waste placed in landfills must be reduced by 75 percent by 2025 (from 2014 levels). Also part of the bill, cities, counties and other jurisdictions are required to procure recycled organic products (such as compost and mulch) made from green waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. These materials can then be used in public parks, schools, street landscaping and by farmers, landscapers and residents.
“Organic waste is a major producer of greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere,” says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. “Merced County is pro-active in its effort to repurpose organic waste into healthy compost and mulch while helping the environment.”
The Agromin-Merced Highway 59 Compost Facility collects organic waste from Atwater and Merced as well as the unincorporated parts of Merced County. Agromin’s compost and mulch are made from 100 percent organic material. No biosolids or chemical fertilizers are added.
The Agromin-Merced Highway 59 Compost Facility is Agromin’s second composting site in Merced County. The Agromin-Bowles Compost Facility at the Bowles Farming Company in Dos Palos processes 41,000 tons of materials each year and has the ability to process an additional 21,000 tons annually. “Agromin-Bowles will be able to handle additional Merced green waste while the Highway 59 facility expansion is completed,” says Camarillo.