Co-compost project launched

11/03/2011

After more than a decade of planning and slogging through layers of legal, well, shit, the West Marin Co-Composting Project is finally operational. The project, which held a ceremonial first pitch forking on Friday, is the culmination of a public-private partnership between eight entities, including the Marin Resource Conservation District, the USDA, Marin County, Lunny Paving and Grading, Inc., and the Lafranchi Dairy in Nicasio, where processing will take place. Using basic aerobic composting practices, the facility will turn green, dairy and equestrian waste—all from West Marin—into a certified organic fertilizer to be redistributed within the region. “The idea being to protect water quality by processing all that material locally in an appropriate manner and then getting it back out onto West Marin ranches and farms in a form that will be good for the soil and good for water quality as well,” said Jeff Creque, an agroecologist and consulting partner on the project. By reducing trucking and re-introducing carbon-rich compost into the soil, Creque added, “we can actually start to reverse that process of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” County Supervisor Steve Kinsey, who helped broker a deal with Redwood Empire Disposal for green waste delivery, applauded the project. “This has been a incredibly complicated process but there is a reason for that,” he said. “One is that we don’t have any models and the other is we’re doing what we’re going to have to do a whole lot more of in the future, which is work together.”