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Zero Waste & Food Recovery

Our Zero Waste and food recovery programs continue the work of our founders who envisioned full service, community-wide recycling that would revolutionize the way San Diegans thought about waste.

Over 70% of the waste that San Diegans send to landfills could be used as a valuable resource instead of being buried forever. Plastic, glass, metal, and paper can be recycled and returned to life as new products. Edible organic waste can be salvaged through food recovery programs, which connect food to people who need it, instead of throwing it away.

Our region lacks the large commercial facilities to handle all the food scrap generated here. That’s why we developed the food waste model, which aims to find the best uses for surplus food. Composting, feeding animals, and creating biofuels keeps non-edible organics out of the landfill, where they would otherwise release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

More Zero Waste & Composting Resources

Food Cycle Program

Solana Center offers Food Cycle, a composting program for local homes and businesses. Instead of throwing food waste away, customers can drop-off their food waste at Solana Center’s facility and have it processed into organic soil supplement. Participating customers may also return once the compost is processed to take home free organic soil supplement great for gardening.

The Food Cycle processing center also acts as a demonstration project for hyper-local food waste diversion. The service is kept low-cost thanks to generous donations from our sponsors.

Help us close the loop between organic waste and healthy soil in San Diego; enroll in our Food Cycle Program today! Fill out our interest form for more info.

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Food waste reduction Tip Sheets

The Center for EcoTechnology has created Tip Sheets with useful information about organics, recyclables and trash, along with relevant laws governing each, and helpful case studies showing implementation of food waste reduction practices. Tip Sheets are available by clicking on the links below:

Food Rescue Made Easy

Food Separation Made Easy

Food Waste Reduction Made Easy

Less to Landfill

With the Less to Landfill program, we work with your business to minimize waste you send to the landfill by auditing your business’s current landfill contribution and suggesting food waste reduction alternatives from resource reduction to animal feed to composting options.  

This sort of audit and analysis can save your business money on landfill pick up services and ensures compliance with state waste disposal requirements.

Reach out to the Solana Center today to schedule a full waste assessment of your business!

Contact us for more information: | (760) 436-7986 ex.701

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Zero Waste Events

Solana Center works with your organization to educate, reduce, and recycle waste at large public events while preserving the environmental integrity of the event locale.

 Our team offers a variety of services to assist event coordinators in creating a zero waste event. We also help you tell the story of how you minimized your environmental footprint.

Contact us for more information: | (760) 436-7986 ex.701

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Educational Event Booths

Feature engaging waste diversion education at your community event with Solana Center’s interactive booth!

Staffed by experts and eco-savvy volunteers, our booth incorporates colorful signs, interactive displays, puppets, and even costumed characters! We’ve been a hit at numerous events across San Diego County.

Contact us for more information: | (760) 436-7986 ex. 704

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Pollution Prevention Campaigns

Solana Center goes into the community to build awareness of high-impact pollution that affects our region.

We bring our outreach to community members in popular gathering places such as schools, the beach, and local events, and educate on pollution in compelling, memorable ways. Costumed characters such as Bagman – who wears a year’s worth of plastic single-use bags –  interact with and educate community members.

Contact us for more information | (760) 436-7986 x.701

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Waste Diversion in Schools

Solana Center educators bring “the four Rs” to children: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot!

Programming includes a variety of activities tailored to schools’ needs, including interactive presentations, recycling station setup, lunch waste sorting, composting and more! Students are empowered to take action both at school and at home.

Contact us for more information: | (760) 436-7986 ex. 704

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E - Waste Recycling

The EPA reports that e-waste represents only 2 % of the solid waste stream, but accounts for 70 % of the hazardous waste deposited in landfills. This hazardous waste can eventually pollute our groundwater supply. Do your part to keep your personal e-waste out of the landfill! Solana Center accepts many types of electronic waste, light bulbs, and batteries for recycling at our main office, located at 137 N. El Camino Real in Encinitas. View our office hours or contact us to make an appointment.

Businesses in coastal North County can request an e-waste pick-up at no charge during our monthly events. Check out our events calendar to see when the next one is. There may also be stores and e-waste collection events in your area. If you have working electronics that you no longer need, try donating them to Goodwill or another thrift store. Click the Learn More button to see which types of electronic waste are accepted at our main office.