• 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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