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New composting service brings green effort to Kitsap

POULSBO — Soon, the eye-pleasingly tree-filled landscape of Kitsap County will being getting even greener.

Environmentally speaking, that is.

Emu Topsoil owner Ron Phillips is set to open his newest business venture — a 14-acre organic recycling compost facility in Hansville — next month. And with its debut, a whole new service will be available to county residents, offering not just convenience, but a way to help keep the area clean and healthy for generations to come.

For Phillips, the effort is one five years in the making.

The new Emu Composting Facility will take organic waste often burned and instead recycle the natural wood fiber into reusable materials.

“Now Kitsap County has a facility that will handle the influx of stumps, branches and land clearing debris,” Phillips said while walking the property with his beloved rat terrier, Judge Judy. “It’s a big, big plus for taxpayers. Everyone’s going to benefit from this thing.”

Operations manager Cheri Eaton said the solution, especially as the county faces a possibly impending burn ban, is a long term one that will keep Kitsap green and reduce the amount of organic materials wasted.

“The No. 1 thing we want people to know is how much wood is still going into the landfills,” she said. “We’re just trying to get people to recycle their green waste.”

Composting — a task Phillips said is much like making good whiskey — is a controlled biological process of decomposition and recycling that creates a rich soil supplement. Eaton said because composting does so many valuable things for the surrounding environment, it has become Phillips’ way of making a positive impact on the land and people around him.

“He’s not just about making the buck,” she said. “He is about doing something good for the county and leaving a good legacy.”

Customers will be able to both drop off waste and purchase compost at the Hansville facility, which has a weigh station along with the composting site.

A major expansion from his emu topsoil operation in Poulsbo, Phillips said the Hansville location is bigger and better than anything the business has offered before.

“The Poulsbo office will become the satellite office,” he said. “That’s a Tonka toy and this is the real McCoy.”

When it comes to organic waste management, Phillips is looking forward to Kitsap finally being on the bandwagon. Instead of trucking in compost from King and Mason counties, he’ll be able to provide it in the area, made out of yard clearing and wood waste, putting oxygen back into the soils and turning the debris into a usable product.

“What’s really important, I feel, is it’s going to keep stuff out of the land fill,” he said. “Why not reuse this stuff?”

And while he hopes for continued community support, he said some are already just waiting for the gates to open.

But again, he said the real reason for the project is to keep the air clear not just for his grandchildren, but for their grandkids as well.

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