Business Profile – Waste Management Davis Street Facility
Over the years, the Waste Management Davis Street Resource Recovery Complex has taken a number of measures to increase the sustainability and reduce the impact of their waste processing operations. The complex includes a LEED-certified building, utilizes solar power, the vehicles utilize natural gas recovered from waste, and compost is sorted from trash and processed in a new state-of-the art facility, with recovered materials made available for landscaping use.
In the past several years, Waste Management (WM) has completed extensive improvements to its composting facilities at the Davis Street facility. In 2019, WM opened the Organic Materials Recovery Facility (OMRF) – a state-of-the-art facility that sorts through trash collected to remove organic and recyclable materials for more sustainable processing. In 2020, they opened the Organic Materials Compost Facility (OMCF), which uses advanced processing technology and controls to produce compost in as little as 21 days. The new facility processes up to 350 tons of compostable materials a day, contains it within a negative pressure building (which keeps air and gas from escaping), engages a highly effective bio-filter system that captures gases and cleans them, and results in practically zero emissions.
Evolution of the Davis Street Facility
Decades ago, when Oakland Scavenger Company was still collecting waste in San Leandro, it operated a significant landfill at the end of Davis Street, known as the Oyster Bay Landfill. In 1977, WM took over the site and immediately made changes, which included closing the landfill and donating 194 acres to the East Bay Regional Park District to create Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline. Today, WM utilizes the Altamont Landfill, some 33 miles to the east.
Since that time, WM has transformed the remaining 53 acres into the Davis Street Resource Recovery Complex (2615 Davis Street), a state-of-the-art transfer and materials recovery facility that is providing the Bay Area a sustainable way to manage waste that maximizes the recovery of recyclable and compostable materials.
In 2011, WM constructed the first LEED Gold industrial building in San Leandro, to consolidate green waste mixed with food scraps to transfer for composting. It also opened the Waste Management EarthCare Landscape Center, where residents can come to the facility to purchase locally produced compost, and mulch created from recycled wood (with natural dyes only), for their own gardening purposes.
In 2019, WM installed 2,700 photovoltaic panels om the Davis Street Administration Building’s roof, generating 1.5 million kWh per year – off-setting the facility’s power usage equal to the emissions of 5,839 passenger cars a year. Not only is this a cost-saving measure, but it also drastically reduces the utilization of fossil fuel energy.
At the Altamont Landfill, methane gas that emanates from the garbage is recapture and reused. First, gas is directed to a local power plant, where it is cleaned and sent to turbine engines to generate enough energy to power 8,000 homes a year. Second, gas is reclaimed into liquid form, generating 13,000 gallons of liquid natural gas a day – enough to power 300 trucks. Nearly all of WM’s collection vehicles (big and small) operate on sustainable natural gas. This power plant reclamation process was one of the first in the country.
In 2019, WM also celebrated the one-year anniversary of the only in-county covered aerated static pile (CASP) composting facility, located at the Altamont Landfill. The CASP processes 500 tons of yard trimmings mixed with residential food scraps a day, helping to keep these soil-enriching materials local.
These recent efforts constitute close to a $200 million investment by Waste Management to make sure that its processes are as clean and efficient as possible and to encourage that we all do our best to take care of the earth and reduce waste.