Sustainability Blog

The Utilities and Environmental Services Department, in partnership with Maintenance Services, offered a compost giveaway event on Saturday, September 19 at Barnes Court in front of the Hayward Animal Shelter.

Compost Giveaway

Literature promoting the event indicated a 10:00 a.m. start time, though residents started coming to the event at 9:20 a.m. Cars were queued the full length of Barnes Court well before 10:00 a.m. The message was that this organic compost is the product of what all residents and participating business place in the green organics carts and bins. A total of 2,460 one-cubic-feet bags were given away to residents. Each household received four bags. The staff from the Landscape and Streets Divisions worked very hard in the hot sun loading bags into vehicles and keeping the flow of cars moving. A big thank you goes out to them.

The event was promoted via a bill insert in garbage bills; copies of the flyer were also placed in the Revenue Division office and at both libraries; and the event was also posted on A total of 379 residents completed a brief survey while they waited in line. The response from residents was overwhelmingly positive. They were happy to receive the compost and many asked how soon the next giveaway event would be scheduled.

Staff plans to offer similar events at least twice per year going forward. The compost was provided by Waste Management of Alameda County per the renewed franchise agreement that became effective in March this year. The City will receive 5,000 bags each calendar year.

Homegrown Compost

A species of air-breathing, freshwater snail thrives in some of the treatment facilities at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.


The snails clog pumps and disrupt the air flow needed to promote the growth of beneficial wastewater organisms. The men and woman who work at the Wastewater Treatment Facility are responsible for removing hundreds of thousands of these tiny snails annually to maintain process quality.

In the photo below, employees Roy Bosbach, Epheriam Taylor, and Marshall Harvey are in a solids contact tank that has been drained for cleaning. These 400,000 gallon tanks are approximately 16 feet deep. After sweeping the snails into a pile, staff coordinates with the Collections Department to suck them out of the tank using a vacuum truck.

Snail removal of is one of the many tasks required to keep Hayward’s wastewater treatment process flowing smoothly.

Wastewater Treatment employees work as a team daily to keep dozens of pumps running, rebuild equipment in house, clean pumps that contain dangerous items like needles and raw sewage, troubleshoot state of the art computerized electrical equipment, and sample and monitor water at one of the highest frequencies in the area.

Workers removing snails


Congratulations to the 2015 Poster and Essay Contest Winners!

At last night's City Council meeting, Mayor Halliday honored student winners with certificates. There were three poster winners and three essay winners in each grade category: Grades K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th and 9th-12th. Mayor Halliday also honored the teachers of the student winners.

See the City Council Presentation for a full list of names and images of all the winning posters.

Student winner

Winning Poster


Hayward hosted the third of three free water efficient landscape classes at City Hall on Saturday, May 2. 

Landscaping Class

Co-sponsored with the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, these bi-annual classes provide residents with practical information and ideas for designing, installing and maintaining landscapes that are colorful, attractive, and water efficient.

With over fifty participants in attendance, the final class, Lawn Replacement, was taught by Alane Weber, a professional landscaper with over forty years of experience and the Educational Director of San Mateo’s Master Composter Program. Ms. Weber provided ideas on how to create a water-efficient and low maintenance landscape using native and drought tolerant plants. Class attendees were educated about the benefits of native plants as an alternative to lawns, as well as tips on the Bay Area’s water cycle to better manage water efficiency. In addition, Ms. Weber drew the names of about a dozen participants, each of whom received a water-efficient native plant to take home.

The first two classes, Water Wise Edible Gardening and Habitat Gardening, were both hands-on workshops, where in additional to a traditional lecture, class attendees also received water-efficient plants, vegetable seeds and bulbs to plant in their own pots to take home.

The next landscape classes will be held in the fall. The dates and topics will be announced as soon as the information is available. Customers will be notified with an insert in their water bills, as well as through other means such as the City’s website and flyers.