It is estimated that up to 15% of the waste that goes to the landfill is food waste that can be composted. A number of businesses in Ventura are already on board with the E.J. Harrison & Sons, Inc. and Agromin Food Waste Program. The newest participant assisting in diverting waste from the landfill? The Ventura County Fairgrounds. From July 31 – August 11, 2013, the Fairgrounds, home to the 138th Ventura County Fair, diverted 6.59 tons of food waste from going into the trash and ultimately our overcrowded landfills.
“We’ve had a lot of success with the food composting program working with other local businesses and events, and so I thought that approaching the Fairgrounds to become part of the Food Waste Program during the fair operations would be a great way to continue our commitment to zero waste,” said Donald Sealund, Field Representative for E.J. Harrison & Sons, Inc.
“We spoke with all the vendors about the program the day before the fair commenced,” continued Sealund. “Then we followed up with each vendor on a daily basis to ensure the program was operating according to plan.”
In compliance with the Food Waste Program, vendors, as well as fair attendees, deposited their food waste into specifically labeled bins provided by E.J. Harrison & Sons. The food waste was later picked up by Harrison trucks and then delivered to Agromin where it was made into reusable compost.
“The fair board, personnel and staff were amazingly helpful, I worked with Ron Murphy, Fairgrounds Maintenance Manager, and we trained his staff to be ‘food waste experts’ They served as the food sorters on site and rejected any bags that were contaminated before they reached Agromin” said Sealund. “Their input into the process really made it the great success that it was. We really look forward to doing the program again next year.”
Other local businesses participating in the Food Waste Program include: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach & Convention Center, Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, 71 Palm Restaurant, Trophy Brothers, Patagonia, Project Understanding, Ventura County Medical Center, Community Memorial Hospital, Albertsons, Smart & Final, Chick-fil-A, Aloha Steakhouse, Sushi Fresh, Andria’s Seafood, Le Petit Café & Bakery, The Greek at the Harbor, Margarita Villa, Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, Mimi’s Café, Rhumb Line the Sunset Restaurant, Ventura TowneHouse, and EP Foster Elementary School.
At this time, the Food Waste Program in Ventura is limited to commercial businesses. However, residents can do their part by composting their food scraps at home. To find out more about composting and the Food Waste Program, visit:
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-Maryann Ridini Spencer