Voluntary Activities that Merit the “Completing the Cycle Award.
Meridian Vineyards earns a the Completing the Cycle Award” for its long term commitment to recycling and purchasing of composted organic materials. This exemplary company has demonstrated its commitment to protecting the environment and preserving precious natural resources by incorporated compost in its farming operations in North Santa Barbara County since 1993. They began by using composted organic waste products generated from their own winery operation in Paso Robles. The “waste” material was brought to the Engel & Gray Inc. Regional Composting Facility where it was used as a raw material to produce quality compost. Under the direction of Hampton Farming Company, the material was then applied to Meridian Vineyard locations in North Santa Barbara County. The program proved to be so successful that by the year 2000, they had begun to blend their own organic waste material from wine processing with greenwaste from community curbside programs to benefit their vineyard operations. In 2000/2001 they have recycled and consumed close to 8,000 YARDS of greenwaste collected from North County residents’ curbs. Meridian Vineyards has contracted with the Engel & Gray Inc. Regional Composting Facility to develop a closely regimented composting program wherein organic material is transformed into a beneficial reusable product. This practice is unprecedented in Santa Barbara County. Meridian Vineyards has been instrumental in reusing greenwaste generated by unincorporated North County homes that at once was destined for the landfill.
Recycling, as the word implies, is a cycle. It is comprised of three steps represented by the familiar “chasing arrows” symbol: collection, processing/composting, and purchasing. Meridian Vineyards and Hampton Farming truly complete the cycle by practicing all three legs of the cycle. They truly personify the spirit of recycling by engaging in projects which protect and preserve the environment not only for themselves, but for the entire Central Coast. By their actions, they demonstrate that they believe in environmental stewardship, taking care of the land and being good neighbors.
2. Environmental Benefits of the Activities.
The environmental benefits of this program are vast and significant. These eight specific points result in a better environment not only for the vineyard, but for the entire community.:
- 1.This beneficial use of recycled compost SAVES over 8,000 yards of landfill space annually. Less beneficial alternatives would be land-filling, land application or burning.
- The use of synthetic fertilizers is substantially reduced.
- The water holding capacity of the vineyard soil is improved, reducing consumption and leaching of soil components into the water table, thereby improving underground water quality and reducing runoff, which leads to non-point pollution.
- By increasing soil fertility, water demand is reduced, which in turn reduces precious irrigation water consumption.
- Long-term compost use can reduce soil-borne pathogens, thus reducing the consumption of environment-threatening pesticides.
- The use of Compost reduces soil erosion.
- The compost process kills pathogens in the waste material, preventing possible environmental contamination.
- Composting contributes to a safer workplace.
3. Fulfilling the Promise of Recycling
Meridian Vineyards’ reuse of this organic material “completes the cycle” by recycling a waste product, processing it into compost, and then purchasing the finished product. Creating the ability to make good use of this product that was once landfilled is a program benefit that too often goes unnoticed. Less desirable alternatives such as landfilling or land application can result in the dissemination of pathogens, pervasive non-point source pollution, excessive water contamination, and other environmental problems. This conscientious effort results in the conversion of well over 400 truckloads of greenwaste per year into beneficial compost. The magnitude of this contribution to the Central Coast’s environment is unparalleled.