Amanda Kay- First Impressions of the Transfer Station
One of the first things visitors tend to notice at the Davis Street Transfer Station is the large amount of birds that swarm the grounds. Several species such as Western gulls, Starlings, and Turkey Vultures consider the facility's 53 acres of land their home.
A common question then is, "Why are there so many birds here?" Our answer is simply, "The Pit," or more specifically: because of what is found inside the garbage pit. Food scraps make their way into garbage bins, which are then transferred to the pit, and ultimately end their journey at the Altamont Landfill in Livermore. The most recent study of Alameda County's trash indicates over 40% of materials going into landfills could be composted. These scraps along with yard debris should be placed inside green bins so they can be turned into fresh compost.
Waste Management is doing their best to deter birds from landing here by putting up wires and nets, and even by having a falconer. People may not realize that birds can be a nuisance, interrupting the efficiency of work performed here, and at worst, they may become injured by machinery. Always think before you toss something in the trash. Once you've finished a delicious meal with friends and family, ask yourself, "Where should I throw my leftover food scraps and paper plate?" Soon, using your green bin because second nature.
When you use your green bin, not only do you close the loop by returning nutrients into the soil with nourishing compost, but you also give wildlife like birds one less reason to congregate at the local transfer station!
Amanda Kay is an Environmental Education Associate in StopWaste's iRecycle@School program.