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Compost company to accept Seattle waste

Dan Wheat
A Quincy manure composting farm sees Seattle yard and food waste as an opportunity to return nutrients to farm land and grow its business.

QUINCY, Wash. — Ovenell Farms, a composting and manure management company south of Quincy, is teaming up with PacifiClean Environmental of Spokane to process some of Seattle’s yard and food waste.

PacifiClean signed a $4 million annual contract with the city of Seattle last year to process about 60 percent of the city’s yard and food waste, according to iFIBER One News, an online news service in Ephrata.

PacifiClean dropped plans to build a facility at Elk Heights near Ellensburg and in the Ryegrass area of Kittitas County after receiving community opposition. The company now plans to work with Ovenell Farms on Road P N.W., south of Quincy.

Gregg Ovenell, owner and president of Ovenell Farms, told Capital Press his company has been an active composting facility since 2009 and already has the permits needed to make the project work.

“I don’t look at it as a waste stream but a resource stream completing the cycle of nutrients back here to our soil,” Ovenell said.

“I’m a fifth-generation farmer and my kids are sixth generation, working with me, and we’re looking to bring a value-added soil amendment to agriculture,” he said.

Ovenell currently receives manure and composts it in windrows on 60 acres. He spreads 150,000 to 200,000 tons of screened manure compost annually on farms throughout Eastern Washington to enrich their soils. The waste stream from Seattle will add to that for more carbon to make a better product, he said.

“I think the local community will support our endeavor,” he said. “We’ve proven ourselves in the past.”

He hopes to be in full operation with PacifiClean after Jan. 1 and said there will be some limited trials before then.

Larry Condon, partner and general manager of PacifiClean, could not be reached for comment.



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