Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Compost material gone - but smell lingers

   POINT RICHMOND - Republic Services announced Monday afternoon that it had removed the last of the raw compost material from its Parr Road site the company was concerned might cause odor problems.
     The Monday work - completed at 3 p.m. - came after a two-day, holiday halt to trucking the material offsite to a Republic-operated landfill.
     But hours after the announcement Monday, Point residents began complaining the familiar noxious smell was flooding the Point again. Similar complaints came in Tuesday morning from around Point Richmond. Several residents complained - as they have in the past - that the fumes were causing headaches and throat irritations.

    Republic spokeswoman Bielle Moore said Tuesday morning that operations crews from Republic - including Doug Brewer, Republic's environmental manager - were working to determine the origin of the smell.
     Since early fall, Republic has removed a 360,000 cubic-foot pile of compost-gone-bad off its property. The last of that material was gone before Christmas. The material removed Monday had been scheduled for regular composting. But company officials opted to remove it in case it had turned  sour also.
     The removal of the massive amount of raw compost this fall has prompted hundreds of citizen complaints to air quality officials, Contra Costa County Health officials and City of Richmond Code Enforcement. Nearly all of the reported incidents of noxious smells and fumes have come during times when the wind has been blowing from the north.

    A new composting system - unveiled at two community meetings - is on line and is currently in use processing compost, Moore said. The company believes this new, forced-air system is much less likely to produce any of the odors that have plagued the Point since September.
     Moore was fielding phone calls and email queries from Point residents for most of the morning.
     Republic is scheduled to give the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council an update Wednesday, Jan. 25 on the new composting system and other activities.



Contra Costa County's Lori Braunesreither, Department of Health
EMAIL: Lori Braunesreither. 
Nicole Ewing, Richmond Code Enforcement (510-621-1591)
Bielle Moore, Republic Services community affairs manager
PHONES: (510-262-7547 or 510-205-4908)
Email: Bielle Moore