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North Coast Journal CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION Speaker TRATHEN HECKMAN

Tuesday October 27, San Rafael Joe’s 931 4th Street San Rafael $35 6:00 PM

of

Daily Acts Organization Topic: Greywater Opportunities & The Current State of California’s Greywater Code Also…. ♣ The importance of creating model landscapes and more resilient edible ecosystems ♣ A homeowner’s perspective on installing the first permitted single house greywater system in Sonoma County. And more……

See RSVP flier & Trathen’s Bio inside 2009 North

Coast Chapter Calendar of Events

October 3rd …………….CLT Field Test @ American River College Sacramento October 27th ………….Dinner Meeting – Greywater @ San Rafael Joe’s November 17th…………...Free Dinner for New Member & Students @ Rooster Run - Petaluma

December 11th ……….....Holiday Party - Rooster Run Golf Club -Petaluma

North Coast Chapter CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION

OCTOBER 2009


NORTH COAST CHAPTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board – Past President Jan Gross Heritage Landscape (415) 458-8151 jan@herlandscapes.com President Brigid Flagerman Bertotti Landscaping (415) 897-4097 b.flagerman@verizon.net

CLCA 2009 State Officers

President-Elect/Secretary Charlie Thompson Cagwin & Dorward (415) 892-7710 Charlie.Thompson@cagwin.com

Heath Bedal JPH Group LLC Phone: (916) 457-5925 heath@jphonline.com

Treasurer Lisa Stratton Cagwin & Dorward (415) 892-7710 lisa.stratton@cagwin.com

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Associate Member Chair Russ Clarke Park Ave Turf (707) 217-9669 rmclarke07@yahoo.com Resource Chair David Anderson Monarch Gardens (415) 491-1425 dave@monarchgardens.com CLT State Committee Liaison Dave Iribarne City of Petaluma (707) 778-4591 diribarne@ci.petaluma.ca.us Programs Chair David Gross Heritage Landscapes CLT Training Chair Luis Lua Integrated Design Studio lelua99@yahoo.com

Chapter General Board Members Gary Ronconi Sonoma Landscapes (707) 938-0621grsonomalandscapes@aol.com Henry Buder Henry Buder Landscape Restoration (415) 686-9228 hbuderlandscape@att.net Jose Moreno Gardeners’ Guild jmoreno@gardenersguild.com

Lesther Saquelares Gardeners’ Guild La.saquelares@yahoo.com

Tyler Doherty Cal West Rentals (707) 763-5665 tyler@calwestrentals.com Owen Mitchell Mitchell Landscapes (415) 717-6214 mitchland@sbcglobal.net Dave Phelps, CLT, ASLA Gardens & Gables (415) 499-0331 dave@gardensandgables.com Chris Zaim Akita Landscape (707) 486-2548 akita@aceweb.com

PRESIDENT

William Schnetz, CLP Schnetz Landscape, Inc Phone: (760) 591-3453 bill@schnetzlandscape.com

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Peter Dufau, CLT Dufau Landscape Inc. Phone: (805) 985-2421 dufauland@aol.com

SECRETARY/TREASURER Eric Watanabe Majestic Pools & Landscape Phone: (818) 831-1390 ewooc@aol.com DIRECTOR OF CHAPTER SERVICES Andrew Simpson Quillen Enterprises (916) 721-1635 quillent@aol.com

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sharon McGuire Phone: (800) 448-2522, ext. 13 FAX: (916) 446-7692 sharonmcguire@clca.org

North Coast CLCA Executive Director Journal Editor Connie Salinas P.O. Box 1621 Sebastopol, CA 95473 Phone 707-829-5487 Fax 707-829-5487 heyconniesalinas@hotmail.com


PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Sebastopol. CA Permit NO. 170

October 2009 In this Issue PAGE 3 ……………President’s Message PAGE 4……………..Field Results on the ET Controllers by Steve Hewett PAGE 7….................New Legislation Regarding Unlicensed Contractors PAGE 8……………..Golf News & the Chapter Master’s from Henry Buder PAGE 10……………Reclaimed Water General Permit for Greywater PAGE 15……………Reduce Your Water Use by “Fertigating” PAGE 16……………Bay Area Utility Turns Food Scraps into Energy PAGE 18…………....A 5% Blend of Algae-Based Biofuel fill Tank of Prius This Publication’s Masthead is Printed on Recycled Paper North Coast Chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

by Brigid Flagerman

Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens in Glen Ellen is a wonderful place to learn and to appreciate the hard work and dedication of folks who love horticulture. QHBG is a preeminent Asian botanical garden featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wildcollected Asian plants in the world. The garden is open year round and welcomes visitors for self-guided and docent led tours. Recently Quarry Hill held a marvelous tour that included not only the Quarry Hill gardens but also two very exclusive properties in Sonoma. Roger Wagner designed both private gardens and Quarry Hill. Most spectacular was a grand allee of 175-year old olive trees that stretched for 200 yards. Another fabulous feature was a large grouping of over 1,000 lavender ‘grossi’, however, to call it merely a “grouping” does not do justice to the mounds of undulating lavender which flow along one side of the property. Also spectacular was an espaliered fig tree that reached to the roof and wrapped completely around one corner of the two-story ultra modern house. And talk about a small world, during the tour I ran into a past client of Bertotti who loved reminiscing about working with Tony and team 20 years ago when they installed her garden. Also in the bunch was Mary Te Selle of Quite Contrary Garden Design who is always a pleasure to hang out with. Along with Mary was her friend Kristen Jakob, a botanical illustrator, whose work I have admired for years at Green Jeans Nursery in Mill Valley. It was a pleasant afternoon. Indeed. The CLCA North Coast Web Site will premier at our October Dinner Meeting. This web site is the result of the hard work of our friend and colleague, Michael O’Connell, of O’Connell Landscaping. Not having had the pleasure of working with Michael previously, I have discovered that he is one smart, fine fellow. Charlie Thompson, Connie Salinas and myself have been sending data and ideas to Michael about how we’d like to see and use the web site and we are very impressed with the results. I’d tell you more, but I think Michael deserves the pleasure and pride of unveiling this web site in front of you all. We believe it will be the best chapter web-sites in the state. Way to go North Coast! A special thanks to Luis Lula, Jason North and Henry Buder and friends for helping with this year’s CLT training at Buckeye Ranch. This takes a lot of work and we thank you all for your time and efforts. Also, a big thanks to the Bertotti’s, Kim and Tony, for hosting this training once again.


Field Results on the ET Controllers By Steve Hewett, CLT, QWEL and Past President of CLCA North Coast Chapter

Three years of low rainfall have increased the demand for ET controllers. I have installed over a dozen controllers using both the TORO Intellisense system and the Weathermatic SL series. The water savings are dramatic!!!!!!! The oldest installation is using the Weathermatic SL series controller with a hard-wired weather monitor. The garden has turf, perennial beds, fruit trees, shade gardens, groves of trees and native shrubs. After matching the precipitation rates for each zone and making the system as efficient as possible, the units were installed. We ran the system beginning in the spring of 2008 and then compared the use rate against 2007. The owner of the property sent me Marin Municipal Water District invoices documenting the two year period. The summer period of 2008 saved 25% over the year before. However the spring and fall seasons really impressed us with savings hitting a high of 72%. The 2007 season had the older Irritrol controller being adjusted twice a month using weekly ET data from the CIMIS database. It is clear that the daily adjustments along with more sophisticated programming information like soil type, slope angle, exposure and accurate precipitation rates make a huge difference in the amount of water saved. The invoice for the water in one billing cycle during 2007 was $1,200.00. For the following year, the bill was $200.00!!!! The dollar savings in this one billing cycle time period paid for the unit AND the unit was eligible for a rebate from the water district. The total overall average savings for this older garden came in around 62%. A recent installation using the TORO Satellite based Intellisense system started up just after the last rains this past spring. The garden is very different from the estate in Ketwoodlands. This is a southwestern inspired garden featuring olive and fruit tree orchards, lavender fields and an extensive inventory of native and Mediterranean ornamentals. The lateral lines and emitters were all repaired and the emitters were distributed throughout the root zones to try to achieve better coverage. We wanted to start the system as close to the end of rain season so the clay soil would be highly hydrated. I found it better to start an ET system early. If a system is started in the summer without compensating for low moisture levels, the plants can still be stressed out and suffer during a triple digit heat wave. I decided to keep a record of the irrigation water by taking readings off a dedicated irrigation water meter. This way we know exactly how much water is being used. Comparing the 2008 spring season to the 2009 records showed a dramatic savings of 59%. During the month of July and the first two weeks in August, this garden saved 58%. I had Charlene Burgi of the MMWD Conservation Department help me with some price comparisons and together we figured out the dollars saved in just the first spring season was


about $700.00. This system has paid for itself within the first five months. Not counting the district’s rebate!!!!! Not all gardens will hit such high percentages of water savings. But, these actual field results prove the case for ET Irrigation system management. One garden has mainly pop up sprinklers, bubblers and small drip zones. The other has bubblers, point of use emitters and Dial-a-sprays. It is interesting for me to see that the two different control systems generally achieved about 60% savings over all, irrespective of sprinkler types during the spring. These systems are both older. The lack of accuracy in their original design, the poor coverage and distribution during installation and not changing the old nozzles to the MP type available today, probably contributed to the large water savings. The good news is there is still room for more improvements and additional savings. But the highlight of this comparison is the use of the ET controllers does save thousands of gallons!! The amount of water saved in the garden using predominately drip systems, amounted to roughly 45,000 gallons. This is enough water to fill the average sized residential swimming pool one and a half times. And this was only in the springtime. With the installation of each ET type controller, the savings can be magnified many times. My customers are happy. And come this fall, I’ll go down to Lagunitas Creek and watch the Coho Salmon come back up to spawn, knowing that in my own way, I have made significant difference in my community. During these last three years, I have been helped over and over by Ewing Irrigation’s San Rafael branch manager Kevin Kohl, TORO representative Chuck Ludlow, technical support from Weathermatic down in Texas and my fishing pal and fellow arborist over at MMWD, Charlene Burgi. Thanks everyone!!!!!

Steve Hewett, CLT, QWEL

San Geronimo, CA. 2 GPM PC emitters with some Dial-a-Sprays. Water savings for the April, May, and June period of this year 58% over last year during the same time. (Photos show condition of the plant material).


Bamboo Pipeline Announces LandSensesm Plants: Plants that make Sense for California Landscapes More than 400 plants that are low-water use, sustainable, attractive and readily-available to help landscape professionals design and install low-water use, eco-friendly landscape projects October 1, 2009—Bamboo Pipeline, in collaboration with a voluntary, expert panel of California’s leading environmental landscape architects, has assembled a broad database of trees, shrubs, and perennials that they have deemed ideal for today’s pressing environmental concerns to design and install water conserving, sustainable landscapes that are also beautiful. “It’s invaluable to have resources like the LandSensesm plant palette when we’re choosing plants for our landscape designs. We strive to achieve beautiful gardens that use California’s and our clients’ resources sustainably; this objective is supported by a diverse list of readily-available, great-looking, lower-water-use plants—a list essential in our planning,” stated David Thorne, ASLA, Oakland, California when asked about why he supports the development and promotion of the LandSensesm plant palette. The LandSensesm plant palette is available, at no cost, to any landscape professional simply by registering as a user on the Bamboo Pipeline web site (www.bambooopipeline.com). “As California’s broadest and most complete distributor of plants to landscape professionals, it is only natural that we take a lead to help the industry navigate through the complex challenge of designing in low-water use, sustainable and eco-friendly plant material,” says Matt Fay, President of Bamboo Pipeline. “Simply by logging onto our web site and reviewing plant items from our database of over 10,000 plant varieties that we sell and ship directly to job sites throughout California and Nevada, a landscape professional can easily identify those plants we, and our expert panel, have designated as either LandSensesm plants or simply low-water use plants. Once logged in, the professional can then customize their own plant list—a list they can freely designate as a LandSensesm design—best suited for their locale and the specific needs of their customer.” David Reed, ASLA, San Diego, California summed up both Bamboo Pipeline’s and the panel’s intentions best when he said, “Of all the things we as landscape professionals create, the most fragile, ephemeral and often the most beautiful are the planted portions of our landscape projects. So it is critical that we share our experience of what works for the ecosensitive needs of California with all of our colleagues, contractors, landscape professionals and clients.” Dirk Gaudet, ASLA, Los Angeles added, “With a larger selection of climate appropriate and native plant material provided by nurseries today, along with the greater demand to reduce water use and increase sustainability, the LandSensesm plant palette is a great reference, not only for plant types, but also for confirming availability from a wide reach of nursery growers.” Bamboo Pipeline does not require any of the plants used in a LandSensesm design to be sourced through Bamboo Pipeline in order to be designated as an eco-friendly, low water use, LandSensesm landscape project. And, again, access to the database is free of charge simply by registering on their web site. “We have been successful in building Bamboo Pipeline into the fastest growing green goods distribution business in the United States and are very grateful to our customers for putting us in this position of leadership. Along with our volunteer panel of leading landscape architects, we think this is an appropriate way to ‘give back’ to an industry that has placed so much faith in our ability to serve their needs,” concluded Glenn Griffee, Vice President of Bamboo Pipeline.

Contact: Mike Cornell, Bamboo Pipeline 805-764-2600 mcornell@Bamboopipeline.com


Marin Water Board Approves Desalination Plant

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

The Associated Press – 08-20-09

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.—Marin County's largest water utility has given the go-ahead for a $105 million desalination plant that would turn sea water into drinking water. The Marin Municipal Water District's board voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the project, which would be the first of its kind on San Francisco Bay. Officials say the plant is needed to meet population and economic growth and protect against droughts. It would be funded through local bonds and a $3 to $5 increase in monthly water bills. Marin County currently relies on seven local reservoirs for its water. Opponents say the facility costs too much and would use too much energy. The plant is still subject to permitting and other requirements and is not expected to be up and running until 2014 at the earliest. Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle

New Legislation Regarding Unlicensed Contractors New legislation to protect consumers and licensed contractors against fraud has passed the California Assembly and has been referred to the California Senate.

Assembly Bill 370 would increase the maximum fines for unscrupulous unlicensed contractors and expand the definition of victims in cases of contractor fraud to allow for restitution to be ordered following a conviction. With unscrupulous contractors defrauding consumers of more than $100 billion annually, according to the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, this bill will help protect clients and contractors from dishonest practitioners. Source: assembly.democrats.ca.gov

Belle Feuille Garden Design Somoma Marin Arborists Curry Landscaping Egger Landscape Design Global Recovery Services Marin Company Stormwater Marin Conservation Corps Planet Horticulture ProSeed Landscape & Erosion Control Stony Point Quarry Sweetwater Landscape Hansel Ford SBI Materials Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery TNT Landscape Corp. Garden of Ease CUDO Stormwater Products


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Golf News – North Coast 2009 Masters Championship 2009 Hello once again North Coast golfers. It is time to get the clubs out of the corner of the garage, dust them off, and head out to the range and get some practice in. Now is the time to get ready for the annual Masters golf tournament, which is also our opportunity to support the LEAF Scholarship program. This is where a portion of our greens fees goes to support the incoming landscapers through school. The course will be the Adobe Creek Golf Club at 1901 Frates Road in Petaluma. Go east on Lakeville Hwy about two or three miles from Hwy. 101. Turn left of Frates Road, and the golf course is on the left. The course was designed by world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr., and is listed at 5,743 yards long from the white tees, with a 120-slope rating. This course is a good test for the casual amateur golfer. We have played there several times in the past few years, and everyone seems to enjoy it. Last year’s Master’s champion was Jeff Calhoun of FX Luminaire-Low Voltage Lighting, and I am sure he will be ready to defend his crown. The Chapter’s day of golf will be November 4th, 2009, at 11:00 AM. The price will be $100.00 dollars, of which Adobe Creek, the North Coast Chapter, and LEAF will divide up the money. The price includes green fees only, no lunch or dinner included. The winner will receive a CLCA North Coast Fleece green jacket with Chapter emblem embroidered on the back, and “Masters Champion 2009” embroidered on front. We are playing for the Chapter championship! Once again we will have a closest to the hole prize on hole #12, and a long drive prize on hole # 4. There is a driving range, a chipping green and a putting green if you want to warm up before teeing off. If you want to eat lunch before you tee off, they have an excellent restaurant available. As usual, we will play to our handicap, and the winner will be your gross score minus your handicap. So it does not matter what you normally shoot, because the handicap levels the

playing field. What does matter is that you play well, and you will have as good a chance as anybody to win. Remember, if you sign up and do not show up, you will be billed for $100.00. I would like to take this opportunity to announce a hole in one by one of our regular supporters. Mr. Jimmy Johnson, SF 49er retired, aced the third hole at Foxtail North about a month ago while playing with Chapter members Randy Tavenner and Dan Fixx. It was his first. While Mr. Johnson has received many honors in his life, he said this ranks right up there with the best. Jimmy joins other Chapter Ace members like Jay Tripathi, Tom Bresnan and Henry Buder. I’d like to state that bragging is always allowed when it comes to a hole in one, but no hole in one is better than any other hole in one. And all hole in one recipients have the right to call themselves Ace. The rules are the same as always, all shots count, and no mulligans (a whiff counts as one stroke); no gimmies, all putts must be tapped in; winter rules in effect, i.e. lift, clean and place ok; plus local rules. It takes about 4 and ½ hours to play 18 holes, so don’t expect to leave there before 4 o’clock. You can arrange your foursome, or you can be assigned to a group. You do not have to be a member of CLCA to play, so you can bring your brother, wife or friend. REMEMBER: IF YOU AGREE TO PLAY, BUT DO NOT SHOW UP, YOU OWE US THE MONEY! Let’s just go out there and knock the snot out of the ball and have some fun. I will be calling all the golfers that I know about, or you can call Connie Salinas, our Executive Director, at (707) 829-5487 to sign up. I hope you can set aside some time to be with your friends and have a good time. Henry Buder, 19.2 handicap


Dear Greywater Supporters, The much improved new state of California greywater code that just came into effect on Aug 4th, has entered it's public comment period. This means that the state is taking feedback one more time before the new code gets written into the next plumbing code book. It's really important that people write in ONE LAST TIME! You can send emails or written comments to Dave Walls CBSC@dgs.ca.gov

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD Written comments will be accepted from August 28, 2009, until 5:00 PM on October 12, 2009. Please address your comments to: California Building Standards Commission, 2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 130 Sacramento, California 95833 Attention: Dave Walls, Executive Director Laura Allen Greywater Guerillas

Written comments may also be faxed to (916) 263-0959 or e-mailed to CBSC@dgs.ca.gov

Make a Difference Make a Comment

Cleanliness is next to....

Frank Niccoli, The Village Gardener J. William Thompson and Kim Sorvig in their book Sustainable Landscape Construction remind us that we have a responsibility to keep healthy sites healthy during the construction process. Thompson posits that every site resembles a living organism, and like a living organism, each site varies in health. Prevention is usually more successful and less expensive than a cure. Avoiding damage is our responsibility as conscientious contractors and designers. It is part of our job to understand the health of a site before we begin construction. Healthy sites are recognizable by the diversity of plant and animal life adapted to the site. On a healthy site there is no dominant species and the life on the site, including soil micro-organisms, are self sustaining and self reproducing. Because construction is stressful we need to ensure the site has sufficient strength to overcome these disruptions. Large trees, for example, need to be protected during construction. Use plastic fencing (which can be reused repeatedly) to make sure that trucks, machinery and people do not compact the tree's root zone. Fencing should be installed before any work is started. Do not allow stockpiling of material in or around trees. Remember, the drip line of a tree does not delineate its root zone. Depending on species it is usually two to three times the diameter of the drip line. Pick up this well-written book on managing sites in a sustainable manner. It will save you time, money, and add to your education as a professional. frank@thevillagegardener.com


Reclaimed Water General Permit for Gray Water By Alrie Middlebrook

Allows for private residential direct reuse of gray water for a flow of less than 400 gallons per day if all the following conditions are met: 1. Human contact with greywater and soil irrigated by greywater is avoided. 2. Greywater originating from the residence is used and contained within the property boundry for household gardening, composting, lawn watering, or landscape irrigation. 3. Surface application of gray water is not used for irrigation of food plants, except citrus and nut trees. 4. The gray water does not contain hazardous chemicals derived from activities such as cleaning car parts, washing greasy or oily rags, or disposing of waste solutions from home photo labs or similar hobbyist or home occupational activities. 5. The application of grey water is managed to minimize standing water on the surface. 6. The gray water system is constructed so that if blockage, plugging, or backup of the system occurs, graywater can be directed into the sewage collection system or on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system, if applicable. The gray water system may include a means of filtration to reduce plugging and extend system lifetime; 7. Any gray water storage is covered to restrict access and to eliminate habitat for Mosquitoes and other vectors. 8. The gray water system is cited outside of a floodway. 9. The gray water system is operated to maintain a minimum vertical separation distance of at least 5 feet from the point of gray water application to the top of the seasonally high groundwater table; 10. Any pressure piping used in a gray water system that may be susceptible to cross connection with a potable water system clearly indicates that the piping dies not carry potable water. 11. Gray water applied by surface Irrigation does not contain water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled or infectious garments unless grey water is disinfected before irrigation; and 12. Surface irrigation by gray water is only by flood or drip irrigation.

B. Prohibitions 1. Gray water use for purposes other than irrigation, and 2. Spray irrigation

C. Towns and cities or counties may further limit the use of gray water systems. For more information on Greywater, go to the new Greywater Guerilla’s website:

greywaterguerillas.com


CLCA North

Page 12

Coast Journal

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Donate or Shop for Surplus New and QualityUsed Building Materials!!!

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Donating Materials Your contributions are welcomed and needed. Each donation helps Habitat provide decent and safe housing to our county’s low income working families as well as redirecting useable materials and supplies from the landfill!!! ReStore is located at 24 Tenth Street at Cleveland Avenue, just north of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. Store Hours are: Thursday’s, Fridays and Saturday’s between 9am and 5pm or by appointment.

Call (707) 568-3228

Thanks Advertisers!!

Donations can include: irrigation, roofing, windows, doors, tiles, sinks, water heaters, mantles, columns, flooring, lighting, hardware, cabinets, appliances


Reduce your water use by "Fertigating." California Landscape Contractor’s Association – 09-01-09

Installing a Fertigation System

One way to reduce your water use is by "Fertigating." Fertigation is the process that utilizes fertilizing and irrigation concurrently. By installing a fertigation dispenser to your irrigation system, the system will then be able to dispense small amounts of fertilizers and supplements every time you water. Through fertigating, landscapes become healthier with nutrient rich water and will become more water efficient through this process. Fertigating not only helps you reduce your water usage, it reduces fertilizer usage and fertilizer run off, a major source of pollution in our waterways. Tom Patton, president and CEO of EZ-Flo, a Loomis, CA fertigation company says, "The process of fertigation has been documented through studies to show plants become much healthier at their roots. Fertigation can equal out to a 20-50% water savings by reducing over-watering."

PEST MANAGEMENT IN MARIN This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard. In May of this year, the County of Marin passed a new IPM ordinance. The Ordinance renewed responsibilities of its existing IPM commission, giving them the ability to determine which pesticides can be used on a site specific basis. The IPM program is geared towards eliminating the use of all pesticides on County properties; however, the updated commission has a significant stake in the direction the County will go. This is a great opportunity for pest control applicators and public members to make a significant impact within the County. There are thirteen members on the Commission, each with a 3 year term. Of the members, there is one pest control applicator, and five public members. These positions are an opportunity for industry members to sit on the commission, and help create policy. Per the County of Marin's website, the current Pest control applicator representative is Kevin Davis. His term will end on December 15, 2010. Each public member is chosen from, and will represent one of the five Districts. District 1: Pamela Reaves Expiration: December 15, 2010 District 2: Maggie Sergio Expiration: February 24, 2012 District 3: Sandra Ross Expiration: December 15, 2010 District 4: Kraemer Winslow Expiration: December 15, 2009 District 5: Matthew McCarron Expiration: December 15, 2009 A 6th public member sits on the board as a non-voting member, but is not currently listed on the Commission's website. The industry has an opportunity to make its voice heard, and protect its interests within Marin County. For more information about the Commission, and for applications, please visit the Commission's website http://www.co.marin.ca.us


Bay Area utility turns food scraps into energy Leftovers from San Francisco Bay Area restaurants may soon help power the region. The East Bay Municipal Utility District has created a program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, to generate electricity from the methane gas produced by food decomposition.

The utility now powers its wastewater treatment plant, which serves about 650,000 homes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, by processing many kinds of waste, including the food scraps.

Engineers have been testing and refining the process since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the utility $50,000 in 2006 to study it, and they plan to sell energy to the grid beginning next year.

By the end of 2010, the utility expects to double its capacity to create power, said David Williams, director of wastewater, allowing it to sell more than 5 megawatts of energy to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The utility eventually hopes that about 1 megawatt will come from food scraps, enough to power 1,300 homes, Williams said.

"The program could yield a significant amount of energy, long-term," said John Hake, an associate civil engineer with the utility district. "It's no silver bullet, but it could be one part of a portfolio of renewable energy sources." Food scraps are collected from about 2,300 restaurants and grocery stores in the Bay Area and taken to the utility district's wastewater treatment plant in Oakland, where they are pumped into large tanks full of microbes that speed up decomposition.

It would need to process about 100 tons of food per day to reach that goal, he said. Currently, the plant processes about 100 tons per week. Contaminants such as forks and plastic bags, which often get mixed into the food scraps, have caused the most trouble for the food waste program, Williams said. "Rags just wreck havoc on the pumps," Williams said. "We get oyster shells, silverware and, for some reason, rocks."

The food releases methane gas,iswhich is and Food waste from 2,300 restaurants collected taken to the East Bay Municipal Utility District's used to generate electricity.

wastewater facility. The food decomposes in a digestive tank for 20 days, and the resulting methane gas is harvested and converted into energy. Peter DaSilva / For The Times

When the food reaches the plant, it is put through a "juicer" to sort out the contaminants. A metal blade grinds the food scraps, yielding liquid food waste. The liquid is then churned into a thick brown soup and pumped into the digestive tanks, which release the methane gas. The gas is piped into on-site generators, which create the electricity. After about 20 days in the digestive tanks, the food waste is


composted. To cut back on contaminants, companies that collect food waste educate restaurant workers about separating food from other waste, said Robert Reed, a spokesman for Sunset Scavenger. The company provides special containers for the cast-off food. Reed said about half of the restaurants approached are receptive. The employees at Bakesale Betty in Oakland, which contributes food scraps to the utility district, have been trained to set aside food waste since the restaurant opened, said owner Michael Camp.

said, but lacks some of the necessary equipment. Williams’s hopes eventually to expand the program to food waste collected from homes. "It's a long process to educate the public," he said. "The early growing pains are the hardest part." Los Angeles Times – 08-24-09 by Julie Anne Strack julie.strack@latimes.com

"We're committed to separating food waste," Camp said. "We emphasize to employees that if they don't abide by it, they'll be warned and then they'll be fired." Besides creating energy, the program will reduce landfill waste and greenhouse gases. "With compost, there are always concerns about the release of gases and other issues," Williams said. "We thought; why not use it to generate renewable energy?" Several water-treatment plants have been attempting to develop renewable energy. The Sonoma County Water Agency, which prides itself on green innovation, generates solar power and is concentrating on developing a program to create energy using wave technology. "Anything that produces renewable energy will gain footing," said Cordel Stillman, capital projects manager for the agency. Stillman said he expects other agencies to follow the East Bay Municipal Utility District's lead and begin trying to extract energy from food waste. His agency is interested, he

Eat Bay Municipal Utilities District


A 5% blend of algae-based biofuel fills the tank of a converted hybrid Prius Eleven years ago, author, filmmaker and alternative-fuel advocate Josh Tickell came to the Capitol in a vehicle that ran on used vegetable oil – the cooking fluid of choice for french fries. He was back in Sacramento on Wednesday, driving a modified Toyota Prius running on a fuel mixture that includes 5 percent algae-based biofuel. What transpired in the intervening 11 years? "More people now know what is possible, that green energy solutions and technology are not just a dream. It's actually possible to end our dependence on foreign oil," Tickell said. Tickell has gained international fame in the renewable-energy arena through film, books, advocacy efforts and some highly publicized cross-country trips in alternative-fuel vehicles. In 1997, fresh out of college, he began crisscrossing the nation in a vehicle fueled by frying oil from some of America's most famous fast-food restaurants. He was spreading the word about a then-exotic concoction called biodiesel. This time around, Tickell's chariot is the Algaeus, which started its transcontinental journey Tuesday in San Francisco. The tour will stop in nearly a dozen large U.S. cities before concluding in New York on Sept. 18. After that, Tickell's documentary film, "FUEL" will begin opening in cities nationwide. "FUEL" examines the nation's energy history and emerging alternative fuels/technology that could become transportation staples of future generations. The Algaeus is Exhibit A in Tickell's vision of a green energy future. Other than its bright-green and white paint job, the Algaeus looks like a standard Prius, Toyota's popular gaselectric midsize hybrid sedan. But under its skin, there is an extended battery pack and plug-in recharging – a mainstream Prius has no such plug – which enable the Algaeus to travel extensive distances in electric-only mode. The Algaeus' fuel is a blend including algae-based fuel produced by San Diego-based Sapphire Energy. In this case, the algae were "farmed" in Las Cruces, N.M. Bottom line: The Algaeus, thanks to major contributions from the electric motor and the onboard battery, can travel 150 miles on the first gallon of fuel. The vehicle's coast-to-coast journey is expected to use a mere 60 gallons of algae-based biofuel. Continued on next page………


When Tickell made his cross-country journey more than a decade ago in his vegetable oil-fueled vehicle – actually a biodiesel-powered Winnebago van he painted with sunflowers and called the "Veggie Van" – he received a lot of chuckles from skeptical passers-by. Now, he said, the nation is much more tuned in to green vehicles, with hybrids such as the Prius, Honda's new Insight and General Motors' upcoming Volt plug-in hybrid passenger car much in the news. "Getting informed dialog going is a big part of it," Tickell said. Tickell acknowledged that educating the public on the sometimes complex field of green technologies is a marathon. But he pointed to Europe – where motorists have long paid much higher prices for fuel than Americans – as a success story. There, numerous alternative-fuel technologies are in use, endorsed by citizens and governments. Tickell noted that algae alone presents enormous potential: It grows quickly, it can be harvested from the sea or inland and it does not involve the use of farmland otherwise used to grow food crops. "If we could put the kind of support into this that we put into the computer, the Internet or the space race, we could literally end our dependence on foreign oil," he said. Jason Pyle, chief executive officer of Sapphire Energy – a co-sponsor of the Algaeus cross-country tour – agrees, noting that the so-called "green crude" algae fuel technology has emerged quickly. Pyle said his company has demonstrated that it can be refined into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Besides being low carbon and renewable, he said, green crude can be refined in the existing refinery infrastructure and is compatible with vehicles being built today. More information on Tickell's Veggie Van Organization can be viewed at www.veggievan.org; details on "FUEL" are at www.thefuelfilm.com. Sacramento Bee – 09-10-09 by Mark Glover

From the Veggie Van Website Our Mission

Our Goal This Year


OCTOBER 2009

Page 23

LANDSCAPES UNLIMITED NURSERY 4330 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma, CA 94952 Phone: (800) 371-3300 Fax: (707) 778-0633

Jay Leno

Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like 'Psychic Wins Lottery'? I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, "I'd like some fries." The girl at the counter said, "Would you like some fries with that?" Politics is just show business for ugly people The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 9 out of 10 doctors agree that 1 out of 10 doctors is an idiot. The University of Illinois has hired 15 women to smell pig manure all day so that researchers can find out what makes pig manure smell so bad. You know who I feel sorry for? The woman who applied for this job and got turned down. The University of Nebraska says that elderly people that drink beer or wine at least four times a week have the highest bone density. They need it - they're the ones falling down the most. The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver. The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin. Major league baseball has asked its players to stop tossing baseballs into the stands during games, because they say fans fight over them and they get hurt. In fact, the Florida Marlins said that's why they never hit any home runs. It's a safety issue. The Washington Bullets are changing their name. They don't want their team to be associated with crime. From now on, they'll just be known as the Bullets. Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you've met your New Year's resolution. I feel bad for people who die on Valentine's Day. How much would flowers cost then, ten grand? Luckily, when I was a kid, Ritalin hadn't been invented yet, Huge wildfire broke out last night in Orange County -- 25 people were choking. No, I'm sorry. That was the New York Yankees. Scientists are complaining that the new Dinosaur movie shows dinosaurs with lemurs, who didn't evolve for another million years. They're afraid the movie will give kids a mistaken impression. What about the fact that the dinosaurs are singing and dancing?

/NorthCoastJournal_October_2009  

http://www.clcanorthcoastchapter.org/newsletters/NorthCoastJournal_October_2009.pdf

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