Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Talk about distortion

Some people in the North Everett/Marysville area recently found a postcard in their mailboxes that was obviously composed by a Seattle public relations firm that was unconcerned with the facts. 

Here are some important things to think about:

·      Although hundreds of complaints of odors from Cedar Grove have been made to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the company's Everett location was cited for odors for two days, one in 2009 and the other in 2010.  Cedar Grove has not received a notice of permit violation for odors for more than a year.

·      For one month last summer the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency intensified its enforcement effort in the area around Cedar Grove’s plant.  In the period of this intensified effort, the Agency received 168 Cedar Grove odor complaints and investigated 103 of them.  The agency did not issue a single citation.

·      Cedar Grove is the only generator in the area that has agreed in writing to a third party expert study to determine where odors originate.  This study can answer once and for all where unpleasant odors originate.

·      Cedar Grove has proposed an enclosed facility for anaerobic digestion of organic waste that will operate within the current permitted capacity for the site.  This digester will not only produce green energy, it will be entirely enclosed.  Yet this project is opposed by people who claim to want Cedar Grove to reduce odors.

·      Residents are encouraged not to call Cedar Grove’s odor monitoring firm which now provides real time information that allows the company to make immediate adjustments when odor events are detected.  Instead, they urge residents only to call the Clean Air Agency which can take longer for the resident to receive a follow up.  Cedar Grove asks residents call its contractor so an immediate evaluation can be made.  Cedar Grove has never discouraged calls to the agency. 

What’s going on here?  Maybe it’s time to ask who is paying for this assault on Cedar Grove, how much are they spending and what are their motives?

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Best Sports Story Ever Told: The Greening of Professional Sports in America

Have you been to Safeco Field recently?  If you have, you’ve probably noticed the compostable cups, food trays and utensils used by all of the food service vendors.  You may have noticed the many recycling and compost in addition to garbage cans. 

While the Mariners may be struggling this season, Safeco Field is leading the way when it comes to the greening of ballparks and sports arenas across the country.  According to a recent article, just six years ago, 88 percent of the waste created at a Mariners game was sent to the landfill.  But by the 2011 season, Seattle had streamlined its ballpark operations to the point where they were using less than 10 million kWh a season and diverting 82% of their trash to Cedar Grove Composting, which processed 123.75 tons of the 259.47 total tons of refuse produced during the 2010 season.  Another 88.8 tons was paper and plastic and commingled recycling. 

The money saved by the Mariners is nothing to scoff at.  A 30 percent reduction in electricity use has saved the Mariners an average of $302,900 per year since the 2008 season even though commercial electric rates in Seattle increased 22% during that span. 

Cedar Grove has been honored to partner with the Mariners to give Safeco Field Soil, a special compost blend, back to customers as a giveaway promotion.  The popular giveaway provides fans and the Mariners the opportunity to close the loop on the ballpark’s food cycle.  Thank you to Safeco Field and Mariners’ fans for closing the loop with Cedar Grove!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cedar Grove Composting Partners with the Maple Valley Food Bank to Make a Difference for Local Families

Cedar Grove Composting is partnering with the Maple Valley Food Bank this summer to support its back-to-school drive and fill the backpacks of local kids and the pantries of families living in Black Diamond, Covington, Hobart, Ravensdale, Maple Valley and within the boundaries of the Tahoma School District.

In the Tahoma School District, 15 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches.  The district has seen a slow but steady increase over the past few years in the number of students who qualify.

There are two ways to get involved and make a difference:
We hope you’ll consider joining us in the fight against hunger in our community.  Thank you!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everett Community College Veggie Garden Supported by Strong Community – Staff, Students and Cedar Grove Composting

Cedar Grove recently supported Everett Community College through a compost donation as the school’s Nutrition 180 “Sustainable Food Systems” class built and installed raised beds for a veggie garden at the center of campus.

On March 31, the first planting took place, followed by plantings in April and May.  In May, the students indulged in radish sandwiches, followed by radish and pea pod salad during the class’s weekly cooking sessions.  The students then harvested spinach and made spinach and cheese calzones with their loot.

Veggie HarvestImage by Cedar Grove Composting via Flickr
Other veggies the class planted include red and green cabbage, zucchini, leeks, beets, parsnips, peas, pole beans, pumpkins, kale, red and yellow onions, cucumbers, lettuce and more!

Later this month, the students will have their end-of-quarter potluck and will celebrate by harvesting lettuce from their garden to make a salad.  Over the summer, the garden will be cared for by current students and John Syson, the college’s head groundskeeper and his crew.  Food harvested from the garden over the summer months will be donated to the Everett Food Bank and the Everett Women’s Shelter.  Laura Wild, nutrition instructor, says that she is referring to the garden’s summer caretakers as the “Garden Angels”.

The class also recently planted warm weather crops which will be used in the Nutrition 180 class this fall.  In addition to vegetables, the class also planted flowers to attract beneficial insects including marigolds, zinnias and sweet alyssum.

Cedar Grove is committed to supporting the local community and has a passion for helping schools and non-profits in the areas in which we live, work and play!  Kudos to Everett Community College for tackling this project and thank you for allowing Cedar Grove to be a part of it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Compost Awareness Week – May 1-7

Compost Buffet WarrierImage by Cedar Grove Composting via Flickr

Did you know this week is International Compost Awareness Week?  If not, we hope you’ll celebrate with us May 1-7, 2011!  Whether you celebrate by learning something new about compost, using compost in a new way or by stepping up your kitchen composting a notch, we hope that you’ll participate in this special week in the world of composting!

There are so many benefits of composting and we hope you know them all and share them with your family, friends and neighbors.  Compost can be used for:

How is your lawn doing?  Is it lush and green and growing tall?  If not, learn how to top dress your lawn with compost. Are your plants growing and thriving?  If not, learn how to grow healthier plants.

How do you use compost?  We invite you to comment here and let us know your tips and tricks for nourishing your garden with compost.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kent Student and Eagle Scout Candidate Tackles Project to Honor Coal Miners Buried in Ravensdale, WA

Sterling Connell, a Kent resident, Meeker Middle School student and Eagle Scout candidate spent his Saturday working at Ravensdale Cemetery to begin its restoration.

Miners killed in a coal mine explosion were buried there and Sterling and 63 other volunteers cleared out the grave areas, clearing brush and blackberries.  

Cedar Grove Composting donated the yard waste recycling fee and the company was happy to help Sterling, donating 6,000 lbs of yard waste recycling which was delivered Saturday in 10 truckloads by Sterling’s crew of volunteers.

Sterling organized  a total of 275 man hours on the day of the project.
For the miners killed in that explosion and buried there, Sterling’s work made a huge difference.  Way to go, Sterling!!!

City of Renton’s Earth Day/Arbor Day Event on April 30!

Cedar Grove Employees to Volunteer at the City of Renton’s Earth Day/Arbor Day Event on April 30!

Cedar Grove employees are looking forward to getting dirty on Saturday morning, April 30 at the City of Renton’s beautiful waterfront treasure, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.  

The city’s park staff will have a variety of projects for us to work on in celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day and we’re looking forward to getting grubby and digging in the dirt to beautify this park before summer weather hits and the whole community is out in the sun, enjoying the Renton waterfront.  

If you’re interested in joining our staff, please call the city’s community services department at 425.430.6600 to register.

Families are welcome and it’s a perfect opportunity for teenagers to get their community services hours needed for high school credit!  So grab the whole family, put on some work clothes and get ready to have some fun with the broader community.  
Pssst…it’s our little secret but rumor has it that hot dogs will be served around 11:30 and t-shirts might be given out to volunteers while supplies last…shhhhh!

Event Details:

1201 Lake Washington Blvd. North
9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m.
Parent Arbor Day/Earth Day form required for minors
14 years and under must be accompanied by an adult/guardian

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tahoma High School in Covington Launches Food Waste Recycling!

Cedar Grove is excited to partner with Tahoma High School in Covington which launched its food waste recycling program in March. The school’s Green Team and advisor, Clare Nance, along with a host of internal supporters at the school have successfully launched organics recycling in the school’s lunchroom as well as in many individual classrooms.

The Green Team produced its own video to show school-wide to launch the program and it is a great example of how the best education for successful school food waste programs is really student to student. The students have done an excellent job of educating each other about what is compostable and what’s not and encouraging their peers to sort their waste.

Johnson’s Home and Garden (Do It) Center, a local business in Maple Valley, generously donated the kitchen-sized compost pails for the school to use in individual classrooms to collect food waste for teachers who requested them.

The school is off and running and Nance estimates that the school has already reduced its garbage by half, thereby reducing cost to the school and diverting a great deal of waste from the landfill.

Way to go, Tahoma Bears!!!