Palo Alto Measure E


(KTSF by Jessie Liang)

In the November 8th election, Palo Alto voters need to decide whether to build a composting plant at a former dump site.

The city of Palo Alto just closed its landfill site right next to the Byxbee Park in July. The substantial amount of food and yard waste must be trucked to Sunnyvale and Gilroy.

Peter Drekmeier, supporter of Measure E says, “Trucking our food and yard waste down to Gilroy 53 miles away would create tons of green house gases and would cost a lot of money 2 million dollars a year.”

Under Measure E, the city plans to use the 10 acres of 126 acres of the former dump site to build an anaerobic facility. It could help to reduce costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Drekmeier says, ” With anaerobic digestion instead of using a lot of energy to burn our sewage sludge, we can convert our sludge into energy to power our waste treatment plant.”

Enid Pearson, an opponent of Measure E said the landfill site is adjacent to the existing reycling center and sewage treatment plant. To build a new composting plant would create more problems for habitat and the community. Pearson says, “You’re going to have noise. It’s going to stink. It’s going to be very, very smelly. You have consistent truck traffic because it has to bring all these by garbage trucks in.”

Emily Renzel is also against Measure E. She says that it’s not a wise decision for a small city to invest on a capital facility. Renzel says, “It’s anexpensive proposition to try to do this in a small town like Palo Alto. When you build a capital facility, you usually want to do it regionally because you can share the cost over a large amount of tonnage.”

However, supporters thinks in the next 20 years, it could save the city of Palo Alto 18 million dollars. The measure has to pass by a  majority vote.

(Copyright 2011 KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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