Leading the Golf Industry by Example
A SLO County Golf Course is taking their green efforts to the next level to be the first zero waste golf course in the world. Located off Hwy 1, you will find the Zero Waste Demonstration Park within Dairy Creek, a SLO County Golf facility which is actively protecting the environment by utilizing Zero-Waste strategies. Dairy Creek golf Course is reusing or recycling all possible products from their operations, including food waste, which is the highest priority in modern waste management systems around the world. They are using these wastes to create compost or vermicompost (worm bins), which are later used to brew an organic compost tea which gets applied to the golf course greens and will later be applied to the entire course.
EPA Inc., a California public benefit non-profit corporation founded in 2009, specializes in the design of zero waste strategies for events and venues, public and private, in SLO county and around the nation. The concept of the park sparked in 2010 when EPA Inc. approached SLO County Golf Operations superintendent, Josh Heptig, with a strategy to create the first zero waste golf course in the world. After a successful test of compost tea as a replacement for inorganic fertilizers and pesticide usage on Dairy Creek, Josh agreed to designate a portion of the course grounds to construct a zero waste demonstration park. Project partners, such as the SLO Integrated Waste Management Authority made generous contributions to the park, which officially opened on November 10, 2011.
The Vision of the Dairy Creek Zero Waste Park is to work in harmony with the members of our community to live, demonstrate, and communicate the benefits of zero waste through golf course operations as to inspire new environmental stewards to lead our residents toward a sustainable future.
This vision can be achieved through two goals. The first goal in this park is to educate through demonstration how composting food wastes, worm binning and compost tea brewing can benefit the householder, the community, and the global environment. The second goal of the park is to use the organic fertility products that are manufactured on site to reduce irrigation water usage, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Reducing water usage, pesticides and fertilizers from Dairy Creek Golf Course will reduce the potential for excess runoff into the Morro Bay watershed.