Solana Center for Environmental Innovation recently received proclamations from the County Board of Supervisors and the City of Encinitas for its “Organics Marketplace” demonstration projects and waste diversion programs, which have kept more than 16,000 tons of organic waste out of regional landfills. The ceremonies were also in recognition of Solana Center receiving the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the state’s highest environmental honor, earlier this year at a ceremony that took place at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.
“Solana Center has led the way by example with its replicable program to keep food scrap out of our landfills,” said County Supervisor Dave Roberts, who presented the March 1, 2016 proclamation to Solana Center’s Executive Director, Jessica Toth. “They promote changes in attitudes and behaviors with great results.”
Solana Center’s programs demonstrate ways in which surplus food can be put to good use: to feed people in need, to create animal feed, and to be recycled into compost to create healthy soil. For example, Solana Center is designing and implementing a food scrap composting program for residents with special needs through a partnership with the City of Oceanside and TERI Inc. They have also partnered with the San Diego Farm Bureau and the County of San Diego to provide mid-scale composting education for farms and community gardens.
The proclamations are timely, as a new state law, AB 1826, requires that businesses that generate 8 cubic yards or more of organic waste per week separate their food scraps and yard trimmings and arrange for organics recycling. Solana Center is working with local jurisdictions and businesses to provide local solutions for organics waste diversion.
“In San Diego, 39 percent of what goes into our landfill is edible or compostable,” Toth said. “Our staff and volunteers have worked hard during the last year to implement impactful organics waste diversion programs that keep organics out of the landfills.”
Since 1983, Solana Center’s school programs, classes, workshops, and interactions at community events have motivated individual and collective participation in the protection of our soil, air, and water. Through outreach and education initiatives, Solana Center works as a community resource in composting and soil ecology, pollution prevention, water conservation, organic gardening, waste diversion, and used oil and oil filter recycling. Residents and businesses look to Solana Center for help in achieving their Zero Waste goals through resource recovery and composting.
Story submitted by Jamie Higgins, Communications Coordinator for Solana Center for Environmental Innovation
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