• Government Product News Features Agromin School Project - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at
  • Here's a nice write up about a project we did at a school in Long Beach. It appeared in the September 2015 issue of Government Product News.

    Mulch makes a difference at school in drought-stricken 


    The newly built Newcomb Academy in the Long Beach Unified School District opened its doors for the 2015/2016 school year in September.

    During the two years that the new facility was under construction, students and staff relocated to the district's old Keller Elementary School site. Newcomb Academy's principal, Wendy Sowinski, says that while they didn't face too many difficulties at the interim school, they are looking forward to the new campus.

    "We didn't have a field at Keller Elementary, but we made do with what we had," Sowinski says. "Our kids have 'can-do' attitudes, but I'm glad we will have a brand new field and gym for them."

    The new facility also includes all-new grounds. The school district is benefiting from a state-of-the-art landscape that withstands the daily rigors of a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school, while helping save water to meet the stringent water restrictions imposed because of California's 4-year drought.

    The project landscaper, Land Engineering, turned to Agromin, an Oxnard, Calif.-based producer of mulches, soil conditioners and other sustainable products. Agromin supplied 200 tons of its ES-2 mulch for use in planter boxes, around trees and in open spaces. The firm also provided 20 tons of its Garden Humus to amend the soil to give newly planted vegetation and trees the right start.

    Garden Humus is designed for sandy soils. It adds natural organic humus while rebuilding the soil. Its structure introduces nutrients and microbes to promote healthy plant growth.

    "The design goal for Newcomb Academy was specifically to save water and to create the least amount of future maintenance while still looking good," says John Kay, owner of Land Engineering.

    The mulch was applied in August. Agromin's ES-2 is made from organic recycled material collected weekly from residents' green recycling barrels. The company removes non-green items (i.e., plastic bags, metals) from the material. It is then chopped and put into long composting rows where microorganisms and nature transform the material into compost in about 60 days.

    The microorganisms and the high temperatures within the material during the composting process kill any harmful pathogens and weeds. When applied to landscapes, this aesthetically pleasing mulch holds in moisture and keeps the soil cool so less water is needed for the surrounding vegetation. It also helps reduce erosion.

    Since landscaping is one of the biggest water users, more and more government and educational facilities in California are removing turf and replacing it with drought-tolerant landscaping where mulch is a primary component.
  • Ventura County Board of Supervisors Approves Zoning Change for Agromin Compost Facility Expansion - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at

  • In a unanimous 5-0 vote on September 15, 2015, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning change that will enable Agromin to expand its composting facility on Limoneira Company property near Santa Paula. Agromin, headquartered in Oxnard, is the food and organic waste composter for cities throughout Ventura County and its unincorporated areas. Agromin's organic compost and soil products are used by farmers, landscapers and homeowners. 

    Agromin currently operates at Limoneira on a 15-acre site in an unincorporated portion of the county. It hopes to increase the size to up to 100 acres. Agromin also has a 9-acre composting yard in Oxnard near Ormond Beach, but plans to close the facility once the Santa Paula expansion is complete. Before the expansion can take place, the new facility must be permitted by the county. The transition to the larger site is expected to take place in about three years.

    "Having a composting location that can handle all of the county's green and food waste ensures that the county doesn't not have to send its recyclable organic materials outside the area for composting or have it end up in landfills," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "With new laws coming on the books that reduce how much cities can place in landfills, Ventura County and its cities will be in great shape to be in full compliance for years to come."

    Agromin would process about 300,000 tons of organic material at the expanded site each year--200,000 tons would be green waste from homes and businesses and 100,000 would be food waste from restaurants and other food service facilities. Once collected and cleaned, the material is naturally processed into compost and mulch. Of the processed material, 60 percent will be used by Ventura County commercial farmers. The rest would be used in residential, commercial and municipal landscapes. Agromin also plans to capture the gases created by the composting process and turn it into clean biofuels that can be used by trucks, buses and other vehicles.

    "Ventura County has always been ahead of other counties when it comes to organic waste recycling and repurposing," says Camarillo. "This is just the latest example."

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  • Agromin Wins VC Board of Supervisors' Approval to Expand Santa Paula Composting Facility - Thursday, September 17, 2015 at

  • In a 5-0 decision, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a zoning change that will allow Agromin to expand its composting facility at Limoneira in Santa Paula.

    For more information, read the Ventura County Star article by clicking here.

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