Editor's Note: A public water and wastewater utility in California racks up another industry first: North America's largest composting facility. The operation’s other “sustainable” innovations include selling more recycled water to regional businesses and using more renewable energy.

Inland Empire - The Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) recently received the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for the design and construction of North America's largest, fully enclosed composting facility which produces
approximately 230,000 cubic yards of compost per year.

The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State's economy.

The Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) is a joint project between the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (CSDLAC). Established in 2002, the IERCA operates the Inland Empire Regional Composting Facility (IERCF) located in Rancho Cucamonga. The IERCF utilizes one of the world's largest biofilters and is fully compliant with South Coast Air Quality Management Districts' stringent air standards. The facility's urban location also saves thousands of miles of truck traffic and keeps the organics local for beneficial reuse. The compost creates healthy soils creating beautiful landscapes and saving water.

"We are very proud of our composting project and thrilled to be recognized by the Governor's office," stated Jon Blickenstaff, IERCA board chairman. "This project takes over 200,000 wet tons of waste and turns it into valuable compost that is used locally saving precious water and creating beautiful landscapes. It also saves thousands of miles of truck traffic while utilizing clean energy."

"We are truly honored to be recognized with this award. This recognition manifests the wisdom and foresight of both agency's boards and staff and their commitment to providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for their agency's biosolids recycling needs now and for the future," stated Gene Koopman, IERCA board vice chairman and IEUA director.

For more information and updates regarding upcoming events visit www.ierca.org.