 Enough green energy to power 1,400 homes.  Reduces greenhouse gases by 20,000 tons/year.

 Saves Palo Alto $1,000,000 per year.  Energy available during power outages.

Palo Alto’s Dump Will Close Soon

Our Composting Operation would Cease

Palo Alto’s yard waste would get trucked to Gilroy, generating 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The Z-Best Composting Facility near Gilroy is 53 miles from Palo Alto. Further than:
• Santa Cruz • San Francisco • Marin Headlands • Walnut Creek • Martinez • Tracy

Local Threats from Climate Change
• Bay Rise/Flooding • Water/Food Shortages • Wildfire Hazards

Palo Alto Should Be Concerned about Climate Change Without levee improvements, much of Palo Alto would be underwater in the not-toodistant future.

The First Rule for Getting Out of a Hole is to Stop Digging

Palo Alto’s Climate Protection Efforts
 Climate Protection Plan
• • • 15% CO2 reduction by 2020 33% renewable energy by 2015 Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP) 73% diversion by 2011 90% diversion by 2021 LEED Silver for commercial 70 Build it Green (BIG) points for residential

 Zero Waste Initiative
• • • •

 Green Building Ordinance

Palo Alto Established a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Composting

The BRTF recommended anaerobic digestion, a process using microorganisms in enclosed vessels to break down organic waste into methane and compost.

Three Sources of Organic Waste

60,000 Tons Per Year

Composition of Disposed Organics

Each Year Palo Alto’s Organics could Fill a Football Field the Height of City Hall

130,000 Cubic Yards

Palo Alto Has One of Only Two Sewage Sludge Incinerators in CA
Impacts • 6,000 tons of CO2 produced per year. • $800,000 worth of energy used in 2009. • $234,000 paid to dispose of waste ash.

Anaerobic Digestion Waste Transformation
21,000 tons Yard Trimmings & up to 22,000 tons Food & Compostables 16,000 tons Wastewate r Biosolids
Usable heat For wastewater processes

Yard & Food

13,500 tons garden & farm compost

Biosolids
5,600 tons commercial compost
Methane

Generator Green electricity for 1,400 homes

AD could reduce our greenhouse gases by 20,000 tons/year

The Potential for Anaerobic Digestion
 60,000 Tons of Waste Processed
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Yard trimmings Food scraps Sewage sludge Non-recyclable paper Eliminates sewage sludge incineration Converts waste to renewable energy Reduces landfill methane Eliminates waste hauling $1.4 million/year in green energy $800,000 energy from incineration $234,000 from eliminating waste ash $200,000 from compost sales $1 million in tipping fees Carbon dioxide offsets

 20,000 Tons of Greenhouse Gas Reductions

 Savings & Revenue

Anaerobic Digestion Would Save Palo Alto Money
Expense/Revenue Item Initial Capital Cost Annualized Capital Cost Estimated Operating Cost Revenues - Product Sale Revenues - Electricity Sales Revenues - Other Sales (CO2) Total Net Cost Per Ton Offsite 0 0 $41/ton 0 0 0 $41 AD $13.75 mil. $19.64/ton $38.22/ton -$8.33/ton -$21.04/ton -$1.55/ton $26.94

Possible Funding Sources
      Refuse Fund Calaveras Fund PaloAltoGreen Government grants Venture capital Public/private partnership

The Site would be at the Landfill Next to the Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Facility Would Require Undedication of 10 Acres (8%) of the 126-Acre Byxbee Park

An Equal Amount of Parkland could be Dedicated Elsewhere in Palo Alto

Former Los Altos Water Treatment Plant site

Savings from an AD Facility could Help Maintain our World-Class Parks

Foothills Park

Or Complete 92% of Byxbee Park (no funds currently exist)

To Qualify the Initiative for the November Ballot we Must Collect 4,356 Valid Signatures

Pros of Initiative
Keeps Palo Alto’s composting operation and distribution local. Enables Palo Alto to compost food waste. Allows Palo Alto to retire its sewage sludge incinerator. Generates enough green energy to power 1,400 homes. Energy will be available during emergency blackouts. Reduces citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 tons per year. Saves the City $1,000,000 per year. Revenues could be used to complete 92% of Byxbee Park (no funds currently exist). Provides an excellent educational opportunity for school groups and others. Serves as a model for other communities, reinforcing Palo Alto’s status as an environmental leader.

Cons
Byxbee Park would be slightly smaller.

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