GORE® Cover technology has a long track record of success in California by efficiently reducing odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and greenhouse gases (GHGs) from organic waste. Strong environmental awareness continues to drive aggressive local climate-mitigation goals (linked to grant funding), providing optimal conditions for GORE® Cover technology in California and the rest of the country.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS IN CALIFORNIA
The Clean Air Act — established in 1970 and amended several times later — is a United States federal law. California followed this law by splitting into 35 air districts, each facing its challenge from traffic-related smog in Los Angeles to greenhouse gases in the enclosed San Joaquin Valley.
The following snapshots show the evolution of Gore’s technology in the Golden State since the early 2000s, from the early days of demonstration projects and data gathering, to the development of groundbreaking waste treatment facilities.
FIRST VOC STUDY IN CALIFORNIA
In the early 2000s, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) began addressing the issue of rising air pollution in the waste management sector. The SCAQMD began VOC source testing to gather data to reduce emissions from green waste composting operations. In 2005, a first demonstration project in Oceanside, CA, near the coastline, revealed that GORE® Cover technology reduced VOC emissions by up to 98% for green waste and 99% for ammonia. In 2011, GORE® Cover technology received an official determination as a “best available control technology” by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVACPD).
LARGE-SCALE BIOSOLIDS COMPOSTING IN CALIFORNIA
When the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (LACSD) learned about the GORE® Cover emission source test results, and their successful outcome, LACSD initiated a study with GORE® to verify the data. In 2016, LACSD installed the GORE® Cover technology at the Tulare Lake Compost Facility (TLC) to process wastewater biosolids, mixed with yard waste, with air emission test results showing more than 95% VOC emission reduction. TLC is now one of the largest (designed for up to 200,000 tons per year) biosolids CASP (encapsulated) composting facilities using the GORE® Cover technology.
FIRST FOOD WASTE COMPOSTING FACILITY IN CALIFORNIA
Leveraging the proven ability of GORE® technology to reduce VOC and odor emissions, a large privately held solid waste company located east of Los Angeles saw the opportunity to build a source-separated organics (SSO) food and yard waste composting facility. In 2015, the West Valley Compost facility became the first SSO composting plant compliant with the SCAQMD air quality rules (Rule 1133.3).
Soon after, in 2016, the SG BUNKER® System with GORE® Cover was built and commissioned (in part using CalRecycle grant funding) to process 60,000 TPY in the SJVACPD in Kerman, CA. In 2020, the same Kerman facility expanded, using funds that included a CalRecycle grant, to process 90,000 TPY.
EXPANDING COMPOST PROCESS CAPACITY IN CALIFORNIA
Since the Kerman Facility commissioned in 2016, Sustainable Generation and GORE® have installed Advanced CompostingTM Systems in three more facilities to help them meet the strict air quality standards set in their regions.
City of San Diego & Miramar Greenery
After evaluating several alternative composting methods, the City of San Diego implemented an SG MOBILE® System with GORE® Cover (covered aerated static pile) Pilot-Scale Demonstration Project in 2009. Fully commissioned in 2019, after receiving a CalRecycle grant in 2017, the Miramar Greenery compost facility currently accepts up to 45,000 TPY of SSO feedstock for the City of San Diego. A 2021 odor study concluded that the facility showed 90-99% odor control compared to traditional uncontrolled systems.
Republic Services & Otay Landfill
Another Advanced CompostingTM System facility was installed in 2021 following a 3-year pilot program. Working with Republic Services, the system takes advantage of the portable and scalable SG MOBILE® System with GORE® Cover placed on the (active) Otay landfill and currently accepts 60,000 TPY of food and yard waste from the greater San Diego region, including Chula Vista and Carlsbad. This facility received the NWRA 2022 Organics Management Facility of the Year Award.
Northern California Compost Facility
In 2022, after reviewing the prior success of the SG/GORE® Advanced CompostingTM System, an SG BUNKER® System was installed in Ukiah, California. Working with the contract waste management company, SG designed a system to meet the immediate needs, with a plan for future expansion as food waste diversion efforts scaled in the area. The SG BUNKER® System with GORE® Cover will accept up-to 20,000 TPY of food and yard waste from the City of Ukiah.
To learn more about SG's Advanced Composting Technology using the GORE® Cover system, get in touch with our team here:
Originally published for the Sustainable Generation newsletter April 2023. To sign up click here.