PLEASANT GROVE -- Pleasant Grove city leaders don't want another compost site in their community and they are asking residents for help in stopping it. On Friday, approximately 100 residents who are on the city's email list received fliers, via email, titled "Not Another Stinky Compost Site!! Not In Our Neighborhood!"
On Tuesday, the Utah County Planning Commission will consider a proposed text amendment to allow commercial composting of fruits and vegetables in the RA-5 Zone. This is in response to a request by EcoScraps, an organic compost company.
While the area in question is not in Pleasant Grove, it is in unincorporated Utah County, near the city.
"Our concern is it is pretty similar to what happened" at Timpanogos Special Service District, which processes sewage, said city administrator Scott Darrington. "Whenever we get a wind, the smell will blow into Pleasant Grove."
The offensive odor will negatively affect the city, according to Darrington, because potential businesses won't want to open in the area.
"Any sort of composting is not a good match for what we are trying to accomplish in The Grove area," Darrington said. The Grove area is near the freeway where city leaders are hoping to attract more businesses.
According to Darrington, the area for the proposed organic composting is just north of TSSD. Steps have been taken at TSSD to reduce odor, including covering the compost.
This has helped somewhat, Darrington said, but has not eliminated the problem.
Dan Blake, founder of EcoScraps, said that there are misconceptions about the type of composting his company does.
"We are different from typical composting," he said, noting that the typical process takes six to nine months and the process used at EcoScraps takes three weeks.
Blake does admit that there are some odors involved from the fruits and vegetables and from the fermenting of the liquid that is drained. But, he said, the smell is similar to the smell of wet dirt.
The company gets fruits and vegetables from stores that can no longer be sold. Then they are transformed into organic soil. According to Blake, these are not rotten foods, but foods that were on the shelves at grocery stores the very morning they were acquired by EcoScraps.
Blake said they are considering a few different locations for the new facility and that the location near Pleasant Grove will probably not be the one chosen. Still, Pleasant Grove officials want to make sure they keep odors to a minimum.
The flier that was sent to residents urges them to attend the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at 100 E. Center St., Room 1400 in Provo or to contact one of the county commissioners with their concerns.