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September 30, 2011 > County unveils LEED Gold organics processing facility

County unveils LEED Gold organics processing facility

Submitted By Karen Stern

Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) unveiled its $11M, state-of-the-art LEED Gold Organics Processing and Transfer Facility at the Davis Street Resource Recovery Complex, San Leandro, on September 22, 2011. Only the third Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building in San Leandro, it is the first industrial building designed to Gold standard in the city.

"Our commitment to greening the environment extends beyond our natural gas collection vehicles and single-stream recycling services. We're building green," said Jack Isola, senior district manager of the Davis Street Resource Recovery Complex. "The Organics Processing and Transfer Facility is the keystone to future developments at Davis Street."

The building's distinguishing features include state-of-the-art biofilter to eliminate odor; high-speed roll-up doors to contain odor and prevent bird entry; day-light via translucent panels and solar tubes; mechanically-stabilized embankment walls built with 100 percent recycled aggregate; 95 percent of construction waste recycled; 40 percent of building materials sourced locally; and 20 percent of building materials from recycled sources.

Additionally, local contractors provided the majority of construction services and 92 percent were union jobs. The 34,967 sq. ft. building includes 1,127 sq. ft. of office space. The balance is dedicated to the processing and transfer of 150,000 tons of yard trimmings and food scraps annually. Residential organics are sent to WMAC's Organics Material Review Institute (OMRI)-listed composting facility in Marin County. Excess materials are sent to third-party composters and in the case of nearly 500 tons of Christmas trees to bio-fuel facilities.

"This economic and environmental investment reflects our dedication to helping Alameda County and the Bay Area reach higher diversion goals," said Barry Skolnick, Waste Management Area Vice President. "It also reflects our commitment to our host community, the City of San Leandro, and our many neighbors. Together, we'll build a greener future."

A prototype natural gas collection vehicle, currently being tested in the City of Oakland, was on hand at the inauguration. Powered with bio-fuel made from landfill gas at the Altamont Landfill, Livermore, the truck entered the new facility after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Attendees included representatives from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, City of San Leandro, the Oro Loma and Castro Valley sanitary districts and many others. They toured the new building as well as the $1.5M Public Area Materials Recovery Facility (PAM) that opened in August 2011 with eight new green jobs at Davis Street.

The PAM is designed to process 60,000 tons of construction and demolition material annually, diverting recyclables from landfills. Clean construction lumber is sent to WMAC's mulch facility in Fremont where the wood is ground into mulch for gardening. It is part of the closed-loop approach of WM EarthCare, a new landscape product line of locally-sourced, 100 percent recycled compost and mulch available at WMAC's seven Bay Area facilities.

To learn more about WM EarthCare, visit For more about landfill gas to bio-fuel powering Waste Management collection vehicles, visit For more information about Waste Management, visit or

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