Since the County and most cities now collect yard debris weekly rather than bi-weekly, the amount of yard debris Sonoma Compost must process has increased dramatically. In the last year we often processed over 250 tons per day. As a result, our operating area at the Central Landfill in Petaluma became inadequate to handle this very significant amount of greenwaste.
Sonoma Compost, in cooperation with the County of Sonoma and the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency just completed a 3+ acre expansion of its existing composting area. The expansion area is just north of the area where our compost windrows are located.
To comply with Water Quality Control Board requirements, the expansion area has an approximate 3% slope so stormwater will flow to the southeast corner of our site and drain into two settling ponds. Like the rest of our site, the expansion area has a working surface made from cement treated base rock. This impervious surface provides for all weather operation and prevents stormwater from infiltrating through it.
Aerated Static Pile – Pilot Project
This summer, we undertook an "Aerated Static Pile" pilot project on about an acre of our 18 acre site. Rather than composting feedstock in long windrows separated by wide aisles, the materials are formed into large blocks. Rather than being turned regularly, air is pulled through the pile by a large fan connected to perforated pipes located under the blocks of compost. Theoretically, this type of composting will allow a greater amount of material to be composted on a smaller footprint. The aeration system may also create conditions that allow for faster composting which will also allow greater material throughput.
This project is being overseen by Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost's soil scientist and operations manager.
As the pilot project progresses, we will determine:
Odor Control Misting System Installed