Bakersfield pioneers new solar green waste facility

The Bakersfield Green Waste Division has pioneered a new solar powered compost facility.

It's the first of its kind and employees say it is paving the way for a cleaner California.

"This here is a win, win for California and for the environment," says Pedro Martinez, City Employee of the Green Waste Division.

Through a grant with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the city is utilizing two solar panels that do the job of several diesel machines. "Our new solar powered system does that with about 87 percent less diesel," says Kevin Barnes, Solid Waste Director with the City of Bakersfield.

Even better, the new process takes less time and money which saves you some green.

"It saves diesel cost which will in turn make savings for our customers in Bakersfield," Barnes said.

Before the diesel trucks moved the green waste, churned it and aerated the long skinny piles of mulch. The process was time consuming, not space affective or energy efficient.

Now the solar panels use the sun to power batteries that run the "party bounce-house blower" that aerates and decomposes the piles of mulch.

And it is completely local. "We take all of the yard trimmings, and food waste from all over Bakersfield and turn it into organic soil amendment... that goes to local farms," said Barnes.

The city hopes to expand this pilot program to add more solar units, taking up less space, and relying less on diesel equipment. In turn will help clean up the environment.

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