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Food Cycle Program

Prevent. Divert. Compost.
Solutions to a Growing Problem

smiling women exchange a bucket in a garden

Interested in signing up? Fill out our interest 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 named the Community Compost Program) is a co-op where San Diego residents and small businesses collect their organic waste 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 the food cycle program, 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. In addition, your food waste generates an organic supplement to enhance our soil. 
Participating in the Food Cycle program raises awareness amongst our participants about the type and quantity of food they are wasting. This further inspires them to change their buying and cooking habits reducing the quantity of food waste generated, helping both their pocketbooks and environment. All Food Cycle participants are default environmental leaders in the community 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

  1. Sign up to join the Food Cycle Program by paying the $50 registration fee for residential customers and $75 registration fee for business customers.

  2. Come into the Solana Center to pick up your food collection 5-gallon bucket and bokashi bran

  3. 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.

  4. Once the bucket is full, bring it back to Solana Center for processing and collect a new clean bucket. Compost processings fees are $5/bucket.

Check out our FAQ page 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 signing up? Sign up for our interest list.


Food Cycle is growing! To meet demand, Solana Center needs to invest in a Trommel. Learn about the Trommel Fund and contribute to this growing program!