A composting and recycling facility in the heart of Napa Valley received county Planning Commission approval for changes that will ultimately allow Upvalley residents to recycle food waste.
Some rural neighbors are concerned. Neighbor John Williams said that, while he understands the community need for the facility, neighbors experience the downsides of composting already done there.
“The quality-of-life degradation that comes from that smell is really beyond the pale,” Williams told the Planning Commission on March 7.
Commissioner Mike Basayne said a composting facility is not necessarily enjoyable for neighbors. Still, he said, Upper Valley Disposal Service is trying to improve necessary infrastructure.
“This facility is not perfect,” Basayne said. “But it is the best and most efficient way to address our community needs.”
Upper Valley Disposal Service opened the facility in 1966 at 1285 Whitehall Lane southeast of St. Helena, a third of a mile west of Highway 29. Here, yard waste from 6,000 homes is combined with grape pomace to create compost for vineyards, the project application said.
The facility started by Bob Pestoni also composts food from restaurants and grocery stores. Upper Valley Disposal Service wants to expand the program so residents in and near Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga can toss food scraps into their green waste recycling carts, as is done in the city of Napa.