February 23, 2010 | General

Regional Roundup

BioCycle February 2010, Vol. 51, No. 2, p. 13

San Jose, California
The City of San Jose has released the first of two Requests for Proposals for the city’s commercial processing and collection contracts. The Organics Processing RFP was released on February 4, 2010 with proposals due on April 2, 2010. The RFP solicits proposals to provide organics processing, materials marketing services and transfer (if necessary) for organic materials generated by commercial customers and delivered to the organics processing facility(ies) by the city’s Commercial Collection Franchisees (to be selected under a separate RFP by San Jose). The City may select one or more organics processing contractors to process organic materials based on the contractor(s) ability to achieve a high level of diversion and to process different types of organic materials. Currently, San Jose has a nonexclusive commercial solid waste management collection system. Over 20 collection companies operate within the nonexclusive system. The redesign would result in an exclusive commercial franchise collection system with franchisees providing commercial collection and diversion services for two service districts. All postings, questions and related documents are available on BidSync (; communications with the city will be managed through this site and the city’s purchasing department. Questions for the City of San Jose can be directed to Bernie Reyes (408-535-7053).
Portland, Oregon
In his 2010 “State of the City” address in early February, Portland Mayor Sam Adams included the following: “From the downtown tower to the neighborhood home, we’re innovating. Maybe you heard the recent news about curbside composting coming soon to Portland’s neighborhoods. When I first started on the compost issues I didn’t know that as much as 30 percent of our waste stream is food or compostable materials. Getting those materials out of our waste stream – a liability – and into compost stream – an asset – makes all kinds of sense. We’re going to pilot curbside composting in four neighborhoods this year, and expand in 2011. Gardeners — rejoice!”
According to the website,, source separated food waste and yard trimmings will be collected from 2,000 Portland homes, starting in April. The organics cart will be serviced weekly; garbage will be picked up every other week, and recycling carts either weekly or biweekly. To expand collection city-wide to a total of 145,000 single-family and duplex homes, however, will take more local processing capacity, notes Currently, commercial food waste collected in Portland goes to Cedar Grove Composting in the Seattle region. Locally, Nature’s Needs, a commercial composting facility in neighboring Washington County, was acquired by San Francisco-based Recology, which is going through permitting to accept food waste. The city of North Plains, where the facility is located, is opposing the addition of food waste as the site had a history of odor challenges prior to being acquired by Recology. Allied Waste has applied to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality and Benton County for permission to accept food waste at its yard trimmings composting facility north of Corvallis, which is over 80 miles from Portland. According to, the composting site is “already accepting ‘green’ food waste, excluding meat and dairy, from Corvallis’s curbside food waste program, the first one in the state.”
Raleigh, North Carolina
The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance launched NC BiomassTrader in late 2009 to facilitate development of biomass markets and increase job creation in the state’s biomass economy. The website,, describes the site as “North Carolina’s marketplace for biomass, biobased feedstocks, and biobased energy products and fuels. This exchange service is designed to provide a marketplace for biomass materials that can be used in biobased manufacturing, converted to energy, or used in energy generating processes or technologies.” Recent listings include swine manure, used fryer oil and brush.
Atlanta, Georgia
As part of its Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) program, USEPA Region 4 is soliciting proposals from eligible entities to conduct demonstration, training, education and/or outreach projects that advance sustainable materials management approaches outlined in the RCC. The Request for Proposals outlines areas of interest for the projects. “Regional Recycling Metrics and Measurement” includes projects to advance, support, develop or demonstrate a regional recycling measurement system that will assist EPA and the Region 4 states to characterize, establish a baseline and measure recycling activities to evaluate recycling program(s) performance. Organics recovery projects include (but are not limited to): demonstrations of innovative approaches for collecting or processing organics and food waste focusing on technical, economic and feasibility issues; specific target areas (such as prep waste, e.g., vegetative preconsumer food waste), vermiculture, and/or anaerobic digestion; and pioneering approaches for waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The projects must have the potential to be expanded, shared or transferred with measurable results for wider use and must contribute to the reduction of the amount of organic residuals being landfilled or otherwise disposed, especially from large volume generators. Agriculture projects that pilot and demonstrate the use of compost and/or recycling of material recovery practices in agriculture will be considered. Another area of interest is collection of fats, oils and grease (FOG) for biofuels production.
Proposal must be received by March 22, 2010, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The RFP can be downloaded at:
Yerington, Nevada
The Desert Hills Dairy in Yerington is moving ahead with construction of an anaerobic digester, the first facility of this type to be built in Nevada. A Minden subsidiary of Carbon Bank Ireland Ltd., Desert Hills Dairy Biodigester, LLC (DHDB ) acquired land to construct the digester in Wabuska, near Yerington. “Desert Hills is the largest dairy in Northern Nevada,” says Michael Ganz, CEO of the new company. “We will use proven digester technology developed by GHD, Inc. to obtain maximum yields from this installation.” Carbon Bank Ireland has plans to use the DHDB digester technology to construct 11 new biodigesters in Shanghai, China, according to a company press release.
Montgomery County, Maryland
Maryland Environmental Services manages municipally-owned organics processing and composting facilities throughout Maryland. Its projects include a 55-acre yard trimmings composting facility and a more centrally-located homeowner drop-off and organics preprocessing site in Montgomery County. One of the functions of the preprocessing facility is to size-reduce yard trimmings and wood waste before hauling the material to the more distant 55-acre composting facility. “We process a huge volume of material in a very small area,” says Nanci Koerting, MES’ project manager for Montgomery County Organics Department. “There are people running around, and customers coming in and out, dropping off material. It’s a fast-paced operation that could be potentially dangerous if not managed carefully.”
Until recently, an enclosed tub grinder was used at the preprocessing facility, which limited its ability to process all of the different types of material brought in. This limitation led MES to procure a self-propelled Bandit “Beast” horizontal grinder. “We’ve experienced a 60 percent increase in volume, simply because we can process everything, including huge logs, storm debris and stumps.” explains Koerting. “With only a tub grinder, we could not process all of the incoming material and had to use an outside contractor to remove it. In addition, the horizontal arrangement is very compatible with the location, and our experience has been that it tends to be safer than an enclosed tub with regard to throwing material.” Overall materials processing increased from 252 cubic yards (cy)/hour to 430 cy/hour at a cost of 9 cents/cy, she adds.
Ames, Iowa
A new report from The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture finds that increased demand in metropolitan areas for locally grown food could have a positive impact on neighboring rural economies in southwest Iowa. David Swenson, an Iowa State University economist, worked with the Leopold Center, two local food councils and the Southwest Iowa Food and Farming Initiative (SWIFFI) to conduct an analysis for 10 counties in southwest Iowa. Results showed that a modest increase in fruit and vegetable production could bring an additional $2.67 million in labor income and the equivalent of 45 farm-level jobs to the region. The study did not look at additional income or jobs generated in the direct marketing and retail sectors. “This study is timely given the region’s recent investment in local foods through the creation of local food councils in Pottawattamie and Cass counties,” says Leopold Center Associate Director Rich Pirog, who worked with Swenson on the study. “It shows a clear link between local foods and economic development.” The report, “The Economic Impact of Fruit and Vegetable Production in Southwest Iowa Considering Local and Nearby Metropolitan Markets,” is available at:

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