A service club, a nonprofit and the county are teaming up to turn the three county-run golf courses into zero-waste operations.
The effort was kicked off by the donation of two vessel composters from the county Integrated Waste Management Authority. The composters cost $10,000 each and will be used to compost all of the food waste, grass clippings and landscape byproducts from Dairy Creek Golf Course near Cuesta College.
The project aims to take waste from the golf course and turn it into organic fertilizer that can be used not only at Dairy Creek, but also at Morro Bay Golf Course and Atascadero’s Chalk Mountain.
“Ultimately, I want to eliminate all waste into landfills,” said Josh Heptig, superintendent of county golf operations. The project is not costing the county any out-of-pocket expenses, only staff time.
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As part of the project, a zero-waste demonstration project is being set up at Dairy Creek. It includes food-waste composting, vermiculture — the use of worms in composting — and the production of compost tea, in which water is steeped in compost to give it fertilizing and pesticide properties.
The county is being assisted in the effort by the Eco-Rotary of Morro Bay and Environmental Protection Associates, a San Luis Obispo-based nonprofit.