West Marin Compost produces high quality compost from three community discards streams: dairy, yard debris and equine.
The West Marin Compost project is a community-driven solution that benefits the environment, the agricultural community, the county and the local community in numerous ways:
Keeping it local- closing the loop: Currently green and equestrian waste material is trucked out of west Marin to facilities in east Marin or beyond. Diversion of west Marin organic waste materials away from landfill disposal to reuse within West Marin will benefit all Marin residents.
A tool for agriculture to meet water quality standards: Hundreds of tons of nutrients are purposefully imported into the region each year in the form of inorganic and organic feed and fertilizers. Some of these have the potential to contribute to the concentration of nutrients in West Marin surface waters. A local organic soil amendment will reduce the need to import nutrients from beyond west Marin, and thus reduce the potential for excess nutrients to end up in surface waters. Making and using compost locally provides agricultural operations with a tool to help them meet recently established TMDL water quality standards. Compost is vital to organic farming, and the number of organic acres is increasing in Marin County.
Providing an organic soil amendment for organic farming: Because finished compost is a dry material it is much less costly to apply to land than wet manure. Finished compost is odorless and much less mobile under rainfall conditions than manure. Properly composted material does not contain viable weed seeds, which liquid manure often does, so spreading compost does not spread thistles or other weeds. Centralizing the composting process allows for the purchase of expensive composting equipment, often cost prohibitive for individual farms.
Providing Marin dairies with a locally produced low-pathogen bedding material: For more than 100 years, West Marin dairies have utilized beach sand as a low – pathogen-bedding material. As of 2006, this sand is no longer available. The west Marin compost project provides Marin dairies with an economically viable, locally sourced bedding solution. The bedding material we produce is made by co-composting dairy waste with low bulk-density equestrian and green wastes and produces a superior bedding material. This locally produced material has the added benefit of reducing economic and environmental costs associated with hauling imported bedding materials.