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Energy & Resource Management Committee Minutes

February 15, 2006

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman McNelly called the meeting to order at 7:35 a.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: McNelly, Adamson, Hardwick, McCormack, Mitchell, Murphy
MEMBERS ABSENT: Twineham
PUBLIC PRESENT: Anthony Roberts
STAFF PRESENT: Associate Planner Allen, Clerical Support Norton
APPROVAL OF: Minutes of November 16, 2005 were approved as submitted.


Chairman McNelly noted that he submitted a letter recommending adoption of the Urban Water Management Plan to the City Council on behalf of the Committee.

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

a. City Council Appointments

Chairman McNelly said election of officers normally takes place during the first meeting in January. That meeting was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.

Associate Planner Allen said she did not include the election of officers on this meeting's agenda because the City Council appointed two new members to the Committee, Kevin Mathy and John Avera. Elaine Mitchell was re-appointed. The City Council did not appoint at-large members at this time. The Council is considering reducing the number of at-large members since it has become difficult to attract qualified candidates.

b. 2005 Accomplishments

Chairman McNelly thanked staff for putting together the 2005 ERMC Activity Report of Accomplishments. Associate Planner Allen added that the current solid waste diversion rates for 2004 have been submitted, pending CIWMB approval, showing Fullerton at 51%, and that she plans to re-agendize the 2006 goals for the meeting next month.

Chairman McNelly asked if the Committee had any thoughts or suggestions for changes on the Activity Report. Committee Member Adamson referred to the Item #2 - Used Oil Collection Program. He recalls that the Committee discussed auditing the collection and recycling centers. Associate Planner Allen said that staff does not have the resources to monitor these centers. The County has existing programs that will focus and monitor the Collection Program. Staff is working with the County to take advantage of this program. Next month the City should receive the paperwork to authorize the County to apply for grant funds on our behalf. The negotiations with the County will include earmarking certain funds for the Green Pages, storm drains and decals. The County can get better pricing on decals so the City will get "more bang for the buck." In the next couple of months, there will be an action item recommending that the City Council adopt this agreement with the County.

Committee Member Mitchell said there was talk of using staff interns to look into the recycling centers. Associate Planner Allen replied that interns did go out to the collection centers to gather information such as how much was collected and what problems were experienced. As far as developing any materials or having the knowledge to do anything more meaningful, the interns did not have that expertise. The County can provide educational/public outreach information; resource material; help with record keeping, and establish a relationship with the collection centers. One of the challenges the interns faced was that some centers kept good records while others did not. There are rebates that the collection centers can get if they know how to apply.

MOTION made by Committee Member Roberts, SECONDED by Committee Member Hardwick and CARRIED by all present that the ERMC 2005 Activity Report including the submitted 2004 Diversion Rate be forwarded to the City Council for their review.

Chairman McNelly said he would be glad to write a cover letter on behalf of the Committee to go forward with the Report.

c. Waterless Urinals for City Facilities

Committee Member Roberts said while attending a trade show at the Southern California Gas Company, he noticed that the men's restrooms were equipped with the new waterless urinals. He thought that the Committee might want to look into promoting the use of this type of a system in all of the City's facilities in an effort to save water.

Chairman McNelly mentioned that the Orange County Sanitation District is gradually converting to waterless urinals. There is more than one company that sells the urinals so the City would be able to get comparative pricing. He mentioned that a lot of the plumbers are opposed to the use of these urinals arguing that there are health concerns. Committee Member McCormack asked what does happen to the urine after it goes through the tank. Chairman McNelly explained that the urine seeps through to the sewer. A gel cartridge keeps the sewer gases from backing up through the trap below. The cartridge has a life cycle and must be replaced periodically. The urinals are not necessarily a cost savings but it is a way to defer extra water. He recommended that the waterless urinals be placed on next month's agenda as an action item for discussion. Chairman McNelly talked about looking at other ways to save water over the course of the next year such as a Fix-A-Leak Program.

Committee Member Adamson expressed a desire to see the Committee take more aggressive action in promoting water savings, especially in the downtown area. Chairman McNelly replied that the Committee could recommend that the Code be amended.

Committee Member McCormack stated that the City of Santa Fe Springs has installed the waterless urinals in similar facilities and could provide some additional information. He agreed with Committee Member Adamson that a more aggressive approach be taken, however, before making the building standards more stringent, the City needs to be able to say "it works for us." Chairman McNelly suggested that it might be a good idea to invite a vendor or two and a person from the Building Department to attend an ERMC meeting so the Committee can be better informed about the benefits and use of waterless urinals, and discuss amending the Code. Committee Mitchell was in favor of being as well informed as possible so that the Committee could better promote the program.

Committee Member Roberts asked whether the waterless urinals could ever enter home use. Chairman McNelly said they could be installed for home use but they are not able to handle solid waste.

As a matter of information, Chairman McNelly said that the Orange County Sanitation District reported there was a decrease in water flow this year. It is thought to be because of lack of rain not conservation. There is an increase in population but a decrease in flow. Committee Member McCormick asked if the City could use reclaimed water for irrigation. The water cannot be stored or transferred. A separate delivery system would have to be installed. There are still a lot of issues with using reclaimed water.

d. Compost Giveaway - April 8, 2006, Independence Park 9-11:30 a.m.

Associate Planner Allen stated that MG Disposal will provide the compost. The public should bring his or her trash containers. Chairman McNelly asked if the compost is contractor grade. He has learned that there many different grades of compost and mentioned that he attended a composting workshop that was put on by Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) and Synagrow. The purpose of the workshop was to invite cities to work with compost for landscaping and for application on ball fields. Synagrow offers a great sign-on package. It might be to the advantage of the City to look into Synagrow's program, and instead of giving composting away the material could be sold at a low cost on a regular basis. Chairman McNelly offered to ask representatives from Synagrow and OCSD if they would speak to the Committee about their program.

He said that there are other programs in addition to the one offered by Synagrow. One program deals directly with what cities can do to purchase material at a 25% truck load discount.

Associate Planner Allen said she did not know what grade the compost is that MG is offering but would have an answer before the next meeting. Committee Member Mitchell said she is interested in knowing more about the giveaway so that she could inform people about it. Associate Planner Allen said MG plans to do a press release and a flyer. The information will be in the water bills and on the cable channel. Chairman McNelly spoke about certain standards in the process that are usually developed and followed to ensure the safety of the product and that the compost is mature, more or less a seal of approval. He would like to know more about the product and the company that provides the compost to the City.

Associate Planner Allen left the meeting and returned with the information provided by MG Disposal on the compost. She confirmed that it will be supplied by Synagrow.

Chairman McNelly thought that at the Compost Giveaway event in April there should be some way to make back yard composters available to the public. Fullerton Hardware can get the composters from their west coast distributor. Committee Member Mitchell suggested that a notice of upcoming composting workshops could be posted at Fulllerton Hardware.

Committee Member Mitchell wondered whether the City uses its own mulch from tree trimmings. Committee Murphy stated that the contractor uses its own mulch but he is not sure whether it is for sale. Committee Member Adamson stated that there isn't a lot of demand for mulch.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Anthony Roberts noted that he was informed by the City Clerk that he had not been considered for re-appointment because of a clerical error. His application went into the file and was not forwarded along with the rest of the applications to the City Council to be considered for re-appointment to the ERMC Committee. Effective February 7, 2006 his membership ended. The application will be kept in the file for possible reconsideration for an at-large position.

He extended his thanks to all of the Committee members and said it has been a pleasure to have served on the Committee for the past 9 years.

COMMITTEE COMMENTS:

Committee Member Mitchell stated that it would be good if the City had a representative at the March 4th Composting Workshop at the Arboretum. Chairman McNelly wanted to make sure that the composting workshop is promoted on the website. He passed out a Draft Fact Sheet prepared by the State Water Resources Control Board. The State is going to be implementing a state-wide Waste Discharge Requirement Program for sewer collection systems. This is similar to Fullerton's program. The cities and agencies including Fullerton will have to re-certify their current programs. He thought the City should be more proactive in informing customers how fees are broken down.

Committee Member Mitchell thanked Mr. Roberts for always being prepared and ready to serve, and for all that he has contributed to the Committee over the years. Chairman McNelly also thanked Mr. Roberts for his service to the Committee and hoped that he can continue to serve. He encouraged him to continue to be proactive in pursuing membership. Mr. Roberts said it would be helpful if Chairman McNelly wrote a letter to the Council Members stating how many members are needed on the Committee so that he could be considered for member-at-large.


Committee Member Murphy informed the Committee that he was resigning effective February 15, 2006. The Committee expressed their regrets and thanked him for being a very valuable member of the Committee.


The next ERMC meeting is scheduled for March 15, 2006, 7:30 a.m.

ADJOURNED AT: 8:45 A.M. in honor of Mr. Murphy.
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