Also: Ghilotti Bros. upgrades recycling equipment

The city of Santa Rosa will host a series of facilitated workshops implementation of a citywide Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHG) Program, which includes a climate action plan.

The first community workshop is set for April 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bennett Valley Senior Center, located at 704 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa.

The GHG Reduction Program, funded by a federal energy grant, will help the city identify strategies that will reduce emissions. That includes green-building policies, energy-efficiency retrofits, wind and solar power, updated parking policies and open-space programs.

The presentation will be led by staff from the city and PMC, a consulting firm specializing in climate action plan preparation and implementation. --Jenna V. Loceff


[caption id="attachment_31916" align="alignright" width="346" caption="Ghilotti Bros. acquired a concrete crusher from American Canyon-based Powerscreen of California for one of four recycling yards."][/caption]

San Rafael-based general engineering contractor Ghilotti Bros. Inc. traded in its track-mobile rubble recycling plant for a faster, higher-tech, more maneuverable one from American Canyon-based Powerscreen of California, part of Connecticut-based Terex Corp.

The new impact crusher, a Pegson XH320SR, crushes up to 320 tons per hour of concrete and asphalt into three-quarter-inch base and drain material as well as plus half-inch and 1-inch materials. The machine has systems for keeping steel mesh and iron reinforcing bars commonly embedded in the material from fouling the works.

The resulting material can be used in Ghilotti Bros. projects or sold to other contractors. Rubble comes to Ghilotti Bros.' four yards from its own jobs and those of others. The company added this side business in 1994. State laws started increasing the amount of waste that had to be kept out of landfills, and a debate was raging about mining of gravel from the bed and banks of the Russian River.

"One major thing we decided was to go into recycling, for three basic reasons: to keep quarries from being drawn down, to save space in landfills, and to have fewer trucks on the road, which cuts fuel consumption and carbon footprint, reduces road wear and lessens traffic and noise," said Mike Ghilotti, president.

Ghilotti Bros. also acquired a Chieftain 1400 double-deck dry screen from Powerscreen. --Jeff Quackenbush


West County Transportation Agency last week was presented with the March Sustainable North Bay Award from Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) for its efforts in limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The school bus operator is under a joint powers agreement formed by 16 school districts in Sonoma County. That allows the agency to get economies of scale in acquiring and operating safe, most fuel-efficient vehicles, according to Mr. Huffman.

The agency has been focused on using alternative fuels and limiting its carbon foot print since 1992. It has the largest compressed natural gas school fleet in the North Bay, with 44 such coaches and vehicles. All the agency’s diesel vehicle engines have been swapped with cleaner-burning models. Use of biodiesel is being explored.

Michael Rea, the agency’s executive director, accepted the award at Lawrence Jones Middle School in Rohnert Park. --Dan Verel


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