Town Square

Post a New Topic

City rethinks plan to scrap composting operation

Original post made on Nov 15, 2011

Palo Alto's composting operation, which was slated to shut down within about a month, could get a new lease on life thanks to the voters' decision last week to make a portion of Byxbee Park available for a waste facility.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 1:31 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Yes!, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

"What we now have is an interest in local composting,"

This, alone, is what I voted for.


Posted by Train Neighbor, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I appreciate the fact that we now have options for keeping some kind of composting on a small portion of the closed landfill site.


Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

This is great news! As a gardening fan who has his own compost heaps but also uses the city compost, I'm all in favor of using our green waste locally and saving on truck emissions. On my small lot, I can grow many of the vegetables we eat, and share the extra with neighbors, friends, and food banks. And, there's a great sense of community when folks go to the dump to pick up the finished compost. It would be great to have that keep happening!


Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Didn't everyone believe they were voting to reduce GHG emissions? But, as we all learned in grade school science, decaying (composting) organic matter releases as much of the greenhouse gases H2O and CO2 into the atmosphere as burning it does.

What we really have now is our Public Works department's first "interim" use for the acreage that gullible PA voters added to its empire. Let's watch and see what this chain of "interim" uses will lead to. We can only be sure it won't lead to the promised anerobic digester, wet or dry.


Posted by somewhere else, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

can't it go somewhere else besides there


Posted by Bob Wenzlau, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

Please find the link to the timeline exhibit shared at Council.

Web Link

The timeline shows the relationship of local composting and the ultimate green energy production as well as closing down the incinerator. Composting is an anticipated part of the long-term green energy production from organics as the solids from any anaerobic process (where biogas is generated) require aerated composting to finish the degradation. As such, composting and anaerobic process are complimentary components of municipal organics management.

During the Measure E campaign precinct walkers and farmer's market greeters heard the requests for continued local composting, and with the affirmative vote that request can be fulfilled -- we have the land! We hope this means local drop-off as well as local compost pickup days.

Maintaining local composting as a first step is simple, conventional and cost effective. During the next 6 to 8 months there will be logistics to be worked, but this is a first modest step forward that secures an initial payoff of our initiative.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

I'm pretty sure that hauling our yard waste/future compost to Gilroy creates more emissions than taking it to the end of Embarcadero Rd.


Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Curmudgeon--I like your member name, but I don't for a second agree with you that it's better to tote garden waste on big trucks to Gilroy, so it can decay there instead of here. H2O and CO2 are not equal to the waste from diesel or gasoline engines, even if they weren't going to be added to the air no matter where our yard waste goes. Add to that the fact that compost can help reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, and you've got two convincing arguments for keeping the composting operation here in Palo Alto. There are other good arguments as well.

Let's keep the composting operation going here in Palo Alto!










Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

"Curmudgeon--I like your member name, but I don't for a second agree with you that it's better to tote garden waste on big trucks to Gilroy, so it can decay there instead of here."

Thank you. At least we agree on my name.

We need to rethink how we deal with garden waste and sewer sludge. The regressive practice of putting back into the atmosphere the CO2 that plants sequestered from it cannot continue. That means we must stop doing composting and anerobic digestion (wet or dry).

And no, I do not mind if those people down there in Gilroy handle my garbage. You should try to get over that hangup yourself.


Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Stop composting? Stop composting? Stop creating beautiful soil out of garden waste, because you have some cockamamie theory that decomposing plants are worse than gasoline and diesel fumes emitted over 40 or 50 miles of highway? Not to mention that the same CO2 will be emitted there in Gilroy. I suppose you're happy that those Gilroy folks can handle your garbage and breathe the "noxious" fumes from decomposing garden waste, because they're not as enlightened as you are.

Or something.

I'm working on my hangups. Maybe you should work on your logic.


Posted by judith, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

why not consider a regulatory taking of some of the vacant offices in the vicinity, trade land in the city for land around the plant

its crazy and misinformed to put a $$$$ dollar figure on the cities parkland


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

How Bad Policy Happens
By Douglas Moran | 21 comments | 1,461 views

The life of Zarf
By Sally Torbey | 10 comments | 1,110 views

Freshman Blues Don't Mean Wrong College
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 890 views

Background and Ideas for the Comp Plan
By Steve Levy | 14 comments | 815 views

When Grandparents Visit
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 814 views