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Wrestling with Composting in San Diego

Wrestling with Composting in San Diego

With the BioCycle West conference taking place in San Diego, local station KPBS took a look at how composting efforts have been going.

San Diego hosts the BioCycle West conference every other year. And the local Miramar Landfill began collecting food waste about five years ago to compost. The original space has tripled since the pilot began and the landfill now composts about 10,000 tons per year.

But there is still a ways to go in upping the amount of material that gets composted.

KPBS has the details:

[A]nother 80,000 tons of food waste still goes into the landfill, taking up limited space and emitting methane — a greenhouse gas with more than 25 times the impact on climate change than carbon dioxide. Organics still make up the largest portion of San Diego’s landfill material, at 39 percent.

Carvalho, a presenter at the BioCycle convention, said she sometimes envies other cities with more resources and state-of-the-art technology, but San Diego has other benefits.

“None of them have a composting facility or a landfill in the middle of the city,” she said. “It’s so convenient — less trucks, less driving around.”

One challenge is finding space to put all the extra food waste. It’s a long and burdensome permitting process to expand existing composting facilities, or create new ones. Anaerobic digesters, which turn organic waste into biogas, offer even greater environmental benefits than composting. But they’re very expensive, and finding a location for them is equally difficult.

Read the full story here.

TAGS: Composting
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