For the publisher:
Last week’s newspaper contained a letter detailing a way in which government agencies failed (“There is no happy ending to Bridge Plaque,” March 23). I would like to share a story that balances that experience with this letter about how they are succeeding.
Last Thursday I joined four friends from Lockwood / Bryson-Hsperia for a visit to the Johnson Canyon Dump outside of Gonzales. Our tour guide was Mandy Brooks, Salinas Valley Recycles Resource Recovery Manager. It is worth sharing our experience because it highlights the good that government agencies and employees are doing with taxpayer money.
Monterey County has creatively responded to new state requirements to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills with little capacity. Delayed for a time by Covid’s concerns about overloading local restaurants and businesses, a sophisticated process now turns tons of organic material into rich compost. Residents can buy this compost for their backyards and gardens.
Salinas Valley Recycles is doing an incredible job in managing a number of complementary processes: the methane gas captured from the decaying garbage is converted into electricity that feeds the entire operation, the organic material released from the plastic wrap creates a rich compost, the old appliances they are sold to recyclers for reuse and students and community members can see how it all works.
Chicken bones are the only item I couldn’t recycle in my home composting program. Mandy invited me to deposit bags of frozen bones on top of a pile of green waste, demonstrating the new addition to the system. Those with residential and commercial garbage collection can now add leftover food to their domestic green carts.
If you want to take part in this extended process to reduce, reuse and recycle, and find out where to grab a free kitchen bucket to pick up leftover food, go to the SVR website salinasvalleyrecycles.org. Be part of the solution!
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