Agromin Granted Approval to Operate and Expand Merced County’s Highway 59 Landfill Composting Facility
The largest organic waste recycler in California Agromin, has secured approval from the Merced County Board of Supervisors to oversee and expand operations at the Merced Highway 59 landfill composting facility. The decision was ratified on April 20, following a recommendation by the Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority (MCRWMA) to retain Agromin as the operational entity for an initial 10-year term. Commencing operations on July 1, Agromin is currently focused on converting collected green waste into valuable compost and mulch, with plans to incorporate food scraps in the future.
Initially utilizing the existing facility at the site, Agromin’s ambitious expansion plan involves the addition of a new composting facility to bolster intake capacity. Presently, the facility holds a permit for accepting up to 25,000 tons of green waste annually. However, upon the completion of the proposed expansion, the facility’s processing capabilities will surge to accommodate up to 100,000 tons per year.
This move resonates with the broader push to elevate green waste recycling and foster the utilization of recycled organic products across California. In accordance with California Senate Bill 1383, the state is committed to reducing the volume of green waste deposited in landfills by 75 percent by 2025, compared to 2014 levels. The legislation also mandates cities, counties, and jurisdictions to procure recycled organic products, such as compost and mulch, derived from green waste that would otherwise find its way into landfills. These sustainable materials find applications in public spaces like parks, schools, and street landscaping, as well as in agricultural and residential settings.
Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin, underscores the environmental significance of repurposing organic waste. He emphasizes, “Organic waste significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Merced County’s proactive approach in transforming organic waste into beneficial compost and mulch aligns with environmental goals.” Camarillo further acknowledges California’s pioneering role in emission reduction programs and expresses Agromin’s enthusiasm in supporting jurisdictions with their compliance needs and sustainable procurement initiatives.
Serving as a vital organic waste collection hub, the Agromin-Merced Highway 59 Compost Facility serves the Atwater, Merced, and unincorporated regions of Merced County. All of Agromin’s compost and mulch products are derived from 100 percent organic materials, free from biosolids or chemical fertilizers.
The Merced Highway 59 Compost Facility is Agromin’s second composting site within Merced County, complementing the Agromin-Bowles Compost Facility at the Bowles Farming Company in Dos Palos. The latter processes a substantial 41,000 tons of materials annually and has the potential to accommodate an additional 21,000 tons each year. Camarillo highlights that the Agromin-Bowles facility is strategically positioned to accommodate the influx of green waste from Merced during the ongoing expansion phase of the Highway 59 facility.