Prevent. Divert. Compost.
Solutions to a Growing Problem
Our Food Cycle program is back open! With the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued social distancing measures, our procedures for bucket exchange services have been modified so we can continue to collect your scraps safely and within social distance protocol.
- Our bucket exchange will be open 2 days a week, on Thursday from 12 - 5 pm and Saturday from 9 - 1 pm. We will be closed on Saturday, July 4.
- During these hours, bucket exchange will be self-service with no contact or interaction necessary, though staff will be on-site for any questions or assistance as needed.
To drop off your bucket and pick up a new one:
- On an exchange day, drive into the center, bring your bucket to the marked drop off location.
- Pick up a clean, pre-sanitized bucket to bring home.
- Log your bucket drop off from your smartphone or computer using this link. You are also welcome to email us your information and we will log it for you.
At this time, bucket weights are not necessary. We will be keeping the scale inside to minimize the opportunities for any contamination or contact.
If you need any additional bokashi bran or a second bucket, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org the day before you plan to come to let us know so we can have your clean sanitized bucket and bag of bran ready for you upon arrival. You have the option to pay by cash, check, or with the credit card you already have on file with us for Food Cycle payments (with an additional $2 credit card processing fee).
Interested in signing up? Fill out our interest form.
Exchanging your bucket? Fill out the bucket exchange form.
What is Food Cycle?
Solana Center is proud to bring the Food Cycle Program to our community. We are able to accept community members’ food scraps and process these organic materials on-site to create a high-quality soil supplement. The Food Cycle Program (previously Community Compost Program or CCP) is a co-op where San Diego residents and small businesses collect their organic waste in buckets using the Bokashi method and then deliver it to Solana Center to be turned into a nutritious soil amendment and distributed back into the community. Part of the program allows the participants to collect finished compost for their home gardens.
Who should join?
Food Cycle is perfect for everyone, whether you’re collecting the food waste of one person in an apartment, 4 people in a house, 15 people in a small business, an event of 500 people, or anything in between. Everyone creates food waste, and Food Cycle can be the solution no matter your situation. We currently have individuals, households, businesses, and local governments enrolled--join them and be a part of the solution today!
Why should you get involved?
By participating in Food Cycle, a typical family of four will divert 45 lbs of food waste per month, which will prevent this material from going to the landfill. This is equivalent to keeping 32 lbs of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere and transforming the food waste into a healthy soil amendment for plants.
Participating in Food Cycle raises awareness amongst participants about the type and quantity of food that gets wasted and typically leads to change in buying and cooking habits. This reduces the quantity of food waste generated, helping participants' pocketbooks and environment. All Food Cycle participants are default environmental leaders inspiring fellow community members to do their part to reduce food waste and their environmental footprint.
How does it work?
It's easy! Food Cycle members can add all types of food waste because we use the bokashi method of composting, which increases the types of acceptable waste. Bokashi pre-processing allows participants to dispose of all organic material (including proteins) and to retain until the bucket is full. This pre-composting step allows stockpiling for fewer drop-offs by participants and reduces potential odors and vectors. Find out more about bokashi here.
Residents can join the Food Cycle Program with a $15 per month membership fee (which covers the cost of storing and processing your food waste) and a $50 start-up package, which includes a 5-gallon bucket, bokashi bran, and your first month of membership. (Businesses who are interested should contact Solana Center directly for business-specific details and pricing, which starts at $75 start-up fee with a $15 per month membership fee and goes up depending on company size.)
Take home your food collection 5-gallon bucket and bokashi bran. We'll walk you through how it all works when you sign up, but here are some tips!
Collect all food waste at home or in the office into the 5-gallon bucket. Sprinkle bokashi bran on top of every 2-3 inches of food waste and keep the lid sealed to reduce odors. Repeat until the bucket is full.
Once the bucket is full, bring it back to Solana Center for processing and collect a new clean bucket. The Bucket Exchange form can be found here.
Check out our FAQ page or contact email@example.com if you have additional questions. Help us close the loop between organic waste and healthy soil in San Diego; enroll in our Food Cycle Program today!
Interested in joining? Sign up for our interest list.