• Agromin and Houweling's Form Partnership to Manage Tomato Grower's Organic Waste Materials - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at

  • Agromin, the largest organics recovery and composting company in California, and Houweling's, a leading North American greenhouse produce grower, have partnered to manage Houweling's Nurseries' organic waste stream.

    Houweling's 124 acres (50.2 hectares acres) in Camarillo, Calif. produces hydroponically-grown, handpicked "tomatoes on the vine," beefsteak tomatoes, other specialty tomato varieties, as well as seedless cucumbers. Growing its produce in greenhouses enables year-round production. Since Houweling's grows its tomatoes and cucumbers hydroponically, the vegetables are grown without soil. Its tomatoes are sold at Costco, Vons, Ralphs, Bristol Farms, Fresh & Easy and other outlets.

    "Houweling's is currently repurposing 90 percent of its waste into recycling efforts and energy production," says Casey Houweling, Houweling's president and CEO. "We hope to improve that to 95 percent this year with the help of Agromin. Ultimately, we'd like to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the waste we produce."

    The company generates approximately 15,000 tons of organic matter each year. Agromin will take Houweling's green material and turn it into compost, which will then be available to the local agriculture industry and the public. "Being able to turn this organic material into soil products that are available locally is what sustainable agriculture is all about," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "We reduce the demand on our natural resources when we recycle. Since the compost is available locally, we also reduce energy use and pollution associated with long-distance transportation. Agromin's partnership with Houweling's is a great example of closing the recycling loop."

    Houweling's has been a leader in sustainable agriculture since it was founded in 1974. The company uses solar energy and thermal heat collecting to provide sustainable energy and heat, and its water recirculation system recaptures, filters and re-circulates its water. Houweling's closed structure technology naturally minimizes pest and disease risks.

    Agromin, headquartered in Oxnard, Calif., was recently listed as the largest organics recovery and composting company in California, according to the latest rankings by Waste & Recycling News. It processes almost 380,000 tons of organic material each year.

    For more information about Houweling's, go to www.houwelings.com.
    For more information about Agromin and organics recycling, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Agromin Recycles Nearly 380,000 Tons of Organic Material in 2010 - Monday, February 7, 2011 at
  • Agromin, the organics recovery company for more than 50 communities in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange counties, recycled 379,792 tons of organic material from residents and businesses in 2010, up from 365,000 in 2009. Agromin was also listed as the largest organics recovery and composting company in California, according to the latest rankings by Waste & Recycling News.

    Agromin uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the material it receives into premium soil products. The products are then used by growers, landscapers and consumers.

    "Our process is much the same as gardeners who maintain a compost pile in their backyard," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin's CEO. "We leave most of the work to the tens of billions of tiny microorganisms found in the decomposing material to produce Agromin's clean, healthy compost and mulch."

    Agromin efforts keep organic materials out of landfills. "Once in a landfill, the material creates greenhouse gas emissions," says Camarillo. "By naturally composting the material, we can reduce the amount of these emissions and free up space in landfills."

    Agromin compost is listed by the non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) so it can be used to produce certified organic products in accordance to the USDA National Organic Program standards.

    Agromin soil products are sold in bulk and in bags at locations in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange and Los Angeles counties. For a list of locations, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Making green waste count in Southern California - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at

  • February 2nd, 2011 12:30 pm PT
    By Chris Bay, LA Green Building Examiner

    Ever wonder what happens to your "green waste" yard trimmings and weeds on pick-up day? If you reside in Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, or rural Los Angeles county, chances are that your organic matter waste is up-cycled into a variety of Agromin soil products.

    Established in 1990 in response to California Assembly Bill 939 (AB939), which mandated that cities and counties recycle 50% of their garbage or face penalties, Agromin quickly emerged as the south-land's premiere green waste recycler.

    Today, Agromin diverts over 365,000 tons of urban wood and green waste from landfills per year and services more than 50 communities in Southern California. Dave Green, Agromin VP of Sales and Marketing, is confident that these numbers will continue to increase with the passage of Assembly Bill 32 (AB32) last year.

    "AB32 is mandating that cities divert 75% of their waste from landfills by 2020", stated Green, "The cities are considering food waste diversion programs and Agromin is ready to handle the growth. We did a pilot program for food waste in Ventura County which consisted of commingling food waste with the rest of the green waste on an 80/20 basis" - Dave Green, Agromin

    Organic material is the primary source of methane - one of the deadliest green house gasses - off-gassing in landfills. Thus, saving space is only a minor reason for focusing on converting organic "waste" into "food."

    The end result from Agromin’s sustainable recycling method is a line of living soil products which eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, weed killers, and other harmful gardening and agriculture vices. Agromin offers compost certified by both the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and United States Composting Council (USCC), making their products suitable for certified organic farming. The OMRI distinction is hard to come by as only five companies in the nation produce a plant-only compost approved by the third party assessment organization.

    Agromin is a strong advocate for educating children about how to "close the green recycling loop." Their outreach efforts include attending school earth day events, donating living soil products to schools that have community gardens, empowering the kids to recycle green waste, and equipping them with the tools to grow and share their own fruits and vegetables.

    "We love to get the kids involved in green waste recycling as they become our 'police' out there making sure that green waste bins are kept clean - free from inappropriate materials" - Dave Green, Agromin
    As a model "benefit corporation" of sorts, it is no wonder that Agromin is now the largest organics recovery and composting company in California (according to Waste and Recycling News' latest rankings).

    "Overall, through Agromin's recycling efforts, our soils contribute to a greener world. We are trying to build a more sustainable future for our children" - Dave Green, Agromin.
    For more information on Agromin's operations or to order commercial and residential living soil products, visit their website http://www.agromin.com.

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