Sonoma Compost Company (SCC), the regional compost facility for Sonoma County since 1993, has diverted nearly 1.5 million tons of organic matter (yard trimmings and vegetative food scraps) from landfills. This organic matter is turned into organic compost and mulches that enrich our soils and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides. By contrast, organics that are landfilled produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. All SCC yard debris compost products are listed with OMRI and CDFA as allowed for use in organic agriculture.
The Sonoma Compost business vision is based on transforming perceived wastes into soil building amendments. Composts and mulches help build soil and avert soil erosion, conserve water and prevent water pollution. SCC is the only closed-loop recycling program in Sonoma County where recyclables are produced, processed and used locally.
Sonoma Compost is active with the California Organic Recycling Council (CORC) and the California Compost Coalition (CCC) representing the compost industry in developing regulations and shepherding legislation. SCC brought issues associated with compostable plastics to the forefront. Compostable plastics are not as green as they appear [PDF]. The issues outlined are at the foundation of national workgroups that the US Compost Council (USCC) and the Bio-Plastic Industry (BPI) have set up to address these issues.
SCC also monitors pesticide development and has taken been involved in developing legislation to protect the compost industry. AB 2351 was a unique bill to curb the use of Clopylarid use in California. Sonoma Compost is currently working with the California State Water Board to develop a new State rule regulating water quality for compost facilities.
Sonoma Compost believes in giving back to the community. SCC partners with local schools, non-profits and local government to provide education and resources that further the goals of sustainable agriculture. In 2011, SCC donated over 830 cubic yards of compost to about 150 school and community gardens. In addition, SCC conducts facility tours for school and provides on-and off-site public education to over 1500 individuals. Furthermore, SCC attends community fairs and festivals promoting sustainable agriculture and green living.
Partnerships with non-profits is another way SCC demonstrates their commitment to community action. Understanding the connection between fresh, organic and locally produced healthy food and the health of the community, SCC is a supporter/donor to the Ceres Community Project. Ceres is a network of student and adult volunteer gardeners and chefs that grow and produce healthy nutrient-rich meals for individuals and families dealing with serious illnesses.
SCC is both a sponsor and educator in the 350 Home and Garden Challenge led by the non-profit, Daily Acts. A related project of SCC, and in conjunction with Daily Acts and the City of Petaluma, Mulch Madness has converted 416,000 square feet of lawn to native landscapes or food production gardens with a savings of 10.4 million gallons of water per year. If Sonoma Compost is selected as a finalist for the People and Planet Green Business Award, the $5,000 prize will be donated to Daily Acts.