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Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Beginning next week, the city of Fortuna will be offering bulk unpackaged compost for sale to private individuals. The compost is made from thickened, anaerobically digested, and dewatered biosolids produced from the treatment process at the city's Wastewater Facility on Dinsmore Drive.

The purchase price was set “to offset the cost of the composting process,” said Mike Flockhart, Fortuna's Acting Public Works director.

The compost can be purchased for private use by residents and non-residents of Fortuna. The cost is $10 per cubic yard for residents and $15 per cubic yard for those who live outside city limits. Hours for purchase will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday, starting April 18, and continuing for as long as the compost is available. Private individuals will be limited to purchasing 2.5 cubic yards of compost per year. That is roughly one full-size pickup truck load. Smaller pickup trucks usually hold 1.5 cubic yards. No pickups with canopies will be loaded.

Prices for a full-size pickup load of compost are $25 for residents and $35 for non-residents. Prices for a small pickup truck load of compost are $15 for residents and $25 for non-residents. Cash payments only will be accepted and the correct amount must be paid, as no change will be available.

The Fortuna Wastewater Treatment and Composting Facility is located at 180 Dinsmore Drive. Vehicles will enter through the corporation yard (second gate) when picking up compost. Vehicles will need to stop at the corporation yard pay station for paperwork and payment prior to proceeding to the loading area. Everyone will be asked to sign a “hold harmless” release of liability. Fortuna residents will need to show proof of residency -- a copy of a water/sewer bill is best -- to receive the lower cash rate.

The soil amendment is created by mixing the biosolids with green waste and that material is then composted in windrows. When used as a soil amendment, the compost can contribute to larger crop yields and better plant root systems. For more information, call 725-1476.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

This sign at the entrance to Fortuna's corporation yard will be replaced next week, when bulk compost becomes available for sale every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., while supplies last.