.Sonoma County Compost Project ‘Equal to Taking 1,500 Cars Off the Road’

Sonoma County government officials announced last week that they just wrapped up their first project using money from the Climate Resilience Fund — a pool of $10 million from PG&E, paid out by the utility company as penance for their role in the wildfires that ravaged the region in 2017. This first project, a half-million-dollar composting push, ended up removing “the equivalent of 6,070 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, which is roughly equal to taking 1,500 cars off the road for one year,” county officials say. By their math, “sequestering a similar amount of carbon in a single year would take 7,087 acres of forests.” Officials say they achieved this by providing composting rebates to 16 local farms and ranches last year. The program is “a testament to the power of investing in local partnerships to foster environmental stewardship and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are intensifying climate change,” in the words of County Supervisor David Rabbitt. More details from the county: “As a result of the pilot project, more than 5,000 tons of compost were applied on 442 acres of land in Sonoma County in 2023. In addition, partners staged seven events last year to educate the public about composting, the carbon cycle and soil health. More than 380 people attending these events learned valuable techniques about composting at home, the importance of utilizing municipal green bins, and the detrimental effects of sending organic waste to landfills.” Earlier this year, the county also announced plans to build a composting “base” of sorts right next to the tarmac of the Sonoma County Airport — on an old, 15-acre landfill site along Slusser Road that was reportedly shut down in the ’70s. It would reportedly be “the first centralized composting facility in Sonoma County, which is expected to divert and process approximately 65,000 tons of organic material each year.” Currently, the county has to transport all the old food and plant stuff that people leave out in bins to facilities across county lines. So now, at last, we may get a mulch pit of our very own — one that the county then hopes could serve as a source of “high-quality compost” to “support agricultural, landscaping, and public works projects” in our area. The Press Democrat reports that “though its conversion to a commercial composting facility is still years off, an initial feasibility study of the site determined in 2022 there were no disqualifying physical or environmental hurdles.” Also, in case you were worried about the smell — the county’s plan reportedly calls for a “covered row system” that promises to “reduce odor by 99 percent” and prevent runoff into local streams. Oh, and in another recent win for carbon sequestration at the county government level, KRCB news radio reports that “removing most types of native trees in unincorporated areas of Sonoma County now requires a permit, after the county Board of Supervisors finalized a pair of tree ordinances that were in the planning stages for three years” — a new law “meant to increase climate resiliency.” Slowly but surely… (Source: Sonoma County Government & Sonoma County Government & Press Democrat & KRCB)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

North Bay Bohemian E-edition North Bay Bohemian E-edition
boheme magazine e-edition