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Commercial composters are dealing with increasing contamination due to poor sorting at the source. Organics are large sources of GHG emissions when taken to landfill, and composting them has beneficial GHG reduction impacts. The introduction of even a small amount of contamination – such as plastic film, glass and plastic containers – can undermine both the quality of and the market for an end product. With implementation of SB 1383 is on the horizon, it is urgent to deal with the contamination issue proactively and effectively in order for the potential of this legislation to be realized.
In 2018, StopWaste received a grant from the BAAQMD to demonstrate the feasibility of a replicable system using camera technology to monitor organic waste bins and reduce contamination in the organic waste produced by commercial businesses in Livermore, California. The pilot project was implemented through a collaboration between Stop Waste, the City of Livermore, Livermore Sanitation Incorporated, Compology, and Diversion Strategies. This pilot involved installing cameras and sensors connected to cloud based software to identify time, type and level of contamination in organics collection containers. Combined with other intensive outreach, such as timely feedback, technical assistance and penalties, the technology enabled efficient and real time identification of offenders and enabled correction at the generator level, which is essential to meeting the compost standards.
Representatives from StopWaste, Compology, Livermore Sanitation Incorporated will present an overview of the 18 month pilot project, its findings and takeaways.
Meghan has been with StopWaste since 1993, serving in a variety of roles. Initially hired for the Home Composting Program, she has managed a wide variety of projects, including grants to non-profits administration, annual budget development, diversion reporting, waste characterization studies, strategic plans, and the franchise task force. Her longest standing assignment has been maintaining relationships with StopWaste member agencies, through the Technical Advisory Committee. Currently, her priority projects are updating the Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan, and developing a measurement and evaluation program for Agency programs.
Meghan will present the strategic reasons that StopWaste applied for the grant from the BAAQMD, and the nature of the partnership between the parties on the grant. She will also describe the sampling study used to monitor progress throughout the grant and present the results, and share key lessons for other agencies seeking to facilitate public/hauler partnerships.
Mr. Pellegrini has over 40 years experience in the solid waste and recycling industry. Louie is owner/manager of Alameda County Industries, Garden City Sanitation, Livermore Sanitation, Milpitas Sanitation, and Mission Trail Waste Systems. In addition to providing collection services, these companies provide post-collection services including transfer, recyclable and organic material recovery processing. Louie is an expert in collection and processing system design and implementation, data flow and capture, and landfill diversion strategies. Louie is an active member of the California Refuse and Recycling Council (CRRC) and holds multiple patents.
Livermore Sanitation, Inc. (LSI) is the hauler associated with the pilot project. Franchised solid waste haulers are increasingly relied upon to design, implement, and monitor diversion programs, which include the capture and reporting of valuable data to guarantee program quality and effectiveness. Customer outreach, education, technical assistance, and training are required to initiate programs and motivate customers to maintain/increase program participation over the program or contract term. Consistent outreach is also necessary to address employee turnover in food-generating business types.
LSI reviews images generated through Compology’s cameras for potential contamination daily. When contaminants are identified, the customer is contacted since feedback helps increase awareness of contaminants and improves the quality of the collected material.
LSI performs site visits so that feedback and technical assistance can be provided directly to the customer. LSI also warns customers that fines can be levied for repeat or unacceptably high levels of contamination. A work order is sometimes generated to instruct the organics driver not empty the bin when contaminants are still visible at the time of service. In less challenging instances of contamination, LSI contacts customers by phone or email to remind customers of program parameters and inquire as to what additional support they may need for compliance.
Compology technology combined with follow-up contact and training with customers has resulted in a decrease in overall tons but cleaner tons in the organics system so far.
Dylan Hyland is a seasoned sustainability and contamination expert bridging the gap between traditional waste management activities and new digital IoT and AI efficiency platforms. His extensive experience in data analysis and reporting enables him to effectively translate the needs of waste, recycling & organics service providers into real-word, practical technology applications. Dylan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.
Compology technology was implemented to deliver its remote monitoring capabilities for use in driving down contamination in organics bins via timely customer feedback and contamination fees. Compology's field durability was demonstrated, and it was shown that remote monitoring is a viable solution to help make sure that generators follow program rules and provide an affordable means to track compliance with SB 1383 requirements.