To the Editor:

Last week’s paper contained a letter detailing one way in which government agencies have failed (“No Happy Ending for Bridge Plaque,” March 23). I’d like to share a story that balances that experience with this letter about how they are succeeding.

Last Thursday I joined four Lockwood/Bryson-Hesperia friends to tour the Johnson Canyon Landfill outside Gonzales. Our tour guide was Resources Recovery Manager for Salinas Valley Recycles, Mandy Brooks. Our experience is worth sharing because it highlights the good being done with taxpayer dollars by governmental agencies and employees.

Monterey County has responded creatively to new state requirements to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills running low on capacity. Delayed awhile by Covid concerns about overburdening local restaurants and businesses, a sophisticated process now turns tons of organic material into rich compost. Residents can purchase that compost for their gardens and landscaping.

Salinas Valley Recycles is doing an amazing job of managing an array of complementary processes: methane gas captured from decaying garbage becomes electricity powering the entire operation, organic material liberated from plastic wrapping creates rich compost, old appliances are sold to recyclers for repurposing, and students and community members are welcomed to view how it all works.

Chicken bones are the only item I haven’t been able to recycle in my home composting program. Mandy invited me to deposit bags of frozen bones atop a pile of green waste, demonstrating the newest addition to the system. Those with residential and commercial trash pickup can now add food scraps to their home green carts. 

If you want to participate in this expanded process to reduce, reuse and recycle, and learn where to pick up a free kitchen pail to collect food scraps, go to SVR’s website Become part of the solution!

Susan Raycraft

Editor’s Note: We welcome Letters to the Editor of local and general interest to our readers. Letters should be typed and include the writer’s first and last name, home address and phone number for verification. No anonymous letters will be printed. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and libel. Send letters via email to [email protected], or mail them to 522-B Broadway St., King City, CA 93930.

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