By: Rachel McGrath
OXNARD, CALIF. - About 30,000 Christmas trees thrown out of homes in
Ventura County are being recycled at Agromin's green waste recycling
center in Oxnard after this holiday season.
The trees, delivered
by trash-hauling companies or dropped off by residents, are turned into
mulch and compost for use by local farmers, landscape gardeners and the
Dave Camarillo, site supervisor at the facility at 6859
Arnold Road, said tens of thousands of trees are also being processed at
the company's other sites at Limoneira Co. in Santa Paula and the Simi
Valley landfill off Madera Road.
Agromin expects to recycle about 100,000 Christmas trees over the next few weeks.
center employees comb through the dropped-off Christmas trees four
times to find and remove anything nonorganic, Camarillo said, including
plastic, ornaments and lights. Then the trees pass through a chipper and
grinder that spews out mulch into vast piles on the site.
cook it for 30 days, water it, monitor it, then we'll mix it and screen
it, and then you've got compost," Camarillo said. "The compost is used
for plants, agriculture, nursery mixes, bagging products. You name it,
we make it."
Camarillo said the internal temperature of the big
rows of mulch can reach up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. That heat is what
kills off bacteria, such as fecal coliform and salmonella.
mulch piles are sprayed with water to control the dust as the ocean
breezes sweep across the site near Naval Base Ventura County.
is allowed to have up to 10,000 cubic yards of mulch at its Oxnard
facility under the conditional use permit granted by the county. The
facility must also adhere to regulations and standards determined by the
county and the state.
Trash-hauling companies are not allowed to place green waste in landfills, so they pay Agromin to recycle it.
whose brother Bill Camarillo is CEO of Agromin, has worked for the
company for 25 years and oversees 15 employees at the Arnold Road
recycling center. He said Agromin recycles about 340,000 tons of green
waste per year.
Agromin sells the compost in various mixes direct
to consumers and businesses at the Arnold Road facility and also bags
and sells it through garden centers.
Labels: Christmas tree recycling, mulching Christmas trees, Ventura County