Palo Alto Considers New Compost Facility

A task force from the city of Palo Alto, Calif. has recommended moving its current composting center to 5.5 acres of vacant land on the south end of Palo Alto’s airport, which could eventually be combined with the city’s wastewater treatment plant, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The proposed composting facility will be adjacent to Palo Alto's airport. Photo:

The proposed composting facility will be adjacent to Palo Alto's airport. Photo:

The City is converting its existing compost area and adjacent landfill back to parkland. The new site would offer more technology and use less space, meaning the ability to handle more organic material.

It would also not require the city to use park space, since the potential land had been earmarked for possible airport expansion.

Palo Alto targeted a goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2021. The EPA estimates that yard waste and organic food represent 24 percent of solid waste nationally, and these two materials are the primary ingredients in compost.

As part of its composting program, Palo Alto produces nutrient-rich soil that is available to the public in its Organics Yard. It is also sold to nurseries and farmers to help grow new products.

The City is estimating that it will cost $2 million to move its compost facility. If approved, San Jose Mercury News says the long-term goal of the project is to combine the recycling process of sewage and yard waste to generate renewable energy.

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Trey Granger
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  1. I’m always so pleased to hear about the expansion of city-wide composting programs. For many of us, our options remain limited to home composting. This is fine for those of us who are motivated, but most of the world hasn’t caught on yet. Bravo, Palo Alto!

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