Alex Newell

Alex Newell

Alex Newell

Speaker | Tetra Tech

San Francisco, CA | alex.newell@tetratech.com

Alex Newell is an Engineering Manager at Tetra Tech with bachelor’s degrees in both Geological Engineering and Geology and Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a licensed civil engineer in the state of California. His specialties include designing and managing projects related to landfill gas (LFG) collection and control systems (GCCS); beneficial use of biogas facilities; and covered aerated static pile (CASP) compost facilities.

Session Code: D3 (& C3)

Track: California

Session Name: Meeting the Facility Challenge

Session Time: Wednesday, January 25, 4:15 – 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: SB 1383: A Regional Approach, Orange County, CA

Presentation Summary: The Valencia Greenery Composting Facility (VG) is a case study for challenges faced and lessons learned during the design and permitting of a covered aerated static pile (CASP) composting facility in Orange County. Several challenges surfaced during the design and permitting process due to the location of the project in a high density urban environment with limited space and multiple enforcement agencies involved which required significant coordination and fundamental design changes throughout the project.

The VG is to be located on refuse, in an area currently receiving waste; therefore, the grades will be subject to settlement during the operation of the project.  Water and electrical power are not currently available in the area of the site thus the location of the facility posed some challenges.  Due to the proposed location and the lack of available water and the on-going drought in Southern California, a design to reduce water use was proposed through the utilization of a semi-permeable plastic cover as opposed to a finished compost cover. The project had to accommodate strict permitting requirements. These requirements included:

A 60,000-gallon fire water supply system with hydrants
Pile dimensions of 50 by 100 feet
20-foot access aisle on all pile sides
20-foot-wide perimeter road

The team faced a challenge of trying to maximize site capacity in preparation for SB1383 requirements and the anticipated increase in organics at the site while also adhering to permitting requirements for spacing and maintaining access to all aspects of the VG. The coordination required between capacity goals and permitting requirements resulted in a non-traditional CASP design that sacrificed capacity for safety and increased vehicle access.

The team compared the implementation of a solar powered system with battery backup against extending the existing electrical service to the remote location of the planned facility.