So I live in Sonoma County CA. And for years we’ve had a compost company (Sonoma Compost) that was affiliated with out central landfill. They produce some of the best compost I have seen in my life (and I’ve been involved in Organic agriculture and Organic Landscape Construction pretty much my whole adult life).
And they have been shut down by lawsuits invoking the clean water act. (more on that in a moment).
They made certified organic as well as certified biodynamic composts as well as bio-char. Removing hundreds of thousands of tons of green waste from the waste stream. From the green waste bins collected as part of curbside service to greenwaste from farms, vineyards, and landscape maintenance companies- as well as general residents.
And this is wine country. farm to table food country. And cannabis country. Indistries that rely on high quality organic compost to reduce water usage. To reduce fertilizer inputs. To improve the “terroir”
So- back to their shutdown. Some NIMBY neighbors whose real goal seems to be to reduce traffic/activity at the landfill site sued them for discharges into a creek. Because, when we have the really heavy rains in the winter- there would be nitrogen rich overflow to a small local creek. Never mind that the creek is also surrounded by dairy farms. And vineyards. Nor that during these events- the “pollution” is quickly flushed out to the ocean and dilluted- causing little if any harm.
And Sonoma Compost tried to do right. Building larger retention ponds. Pumping and hauling from them as needed. Begging the county to let them take less green waste in the months when this presented problems. While this was a for profit company, it was a small one- and one deeply rooted in environtalism.
But instead of trying to make things right- the county supervisors decided to sell the operations of the landfill (which itself had past legal problems) to a for profit AZ based company. Who promptly refused to support the compost company. (and who I am sure I will be writing about their activiities in a few months- because they are jacking rates and turning the landfill into a dump- cutting every corner they can to make profits).
So now- all our green waste is being trucked ~60 miles or so. Tens of thousands of tons being transported by diesel. And of course- now our regions farms and vineyards have to likewise haul in compost.
A supposed lawsuit over environmental issues causing far, far more harm then it prevents.
So I think this is a good example of why people are frustrated with government. With corporations. and with society. Because we had the courts and the EPA rule on very narrow and strict interpretations of “the law” without taking into account the bigger picture. And we had local government punt on the very real problems caused by the society they are supposed to govern, and handing things over to a for profit company- one who immediateley raised rates for all of us while, from what I have seen, cutting corners right and left. And of course, citizens- not in my back yard, wanting to raise their property values by removing the industry thats presence gave them cheap land in the first place.