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San Diego Landfill Makes Room For Food Waste Recycling


Aired 11/10/09

San Diego just expanded its landfill in order to keep up with the growing demand of recycling food waste. We speak with a city official about the process of recycling food as well as two universities that are working to recycle their leftover food scraps.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Early this Fall, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced some good news about the greening of our city. We now recycle about 64 percent of our garbage. That is a huge amount of waste that is not going into the landfill. And there are plans to do even more. The landfill is expanding its Greenery section to accommodate more recycled food scraps. Organizations that produce tons of food waste are on the waiting list to dump the remains of yesterday's meals into this special section of the landfill. And local gardeners and growers are anxious to pick up the compost that will be created at the Miramar Greenery.


Stephen Grealy, Deputy Director of the City of San Diego's Waste Reduction and Disposal Division.

Steve Lincoln, Sustainability Coordinator of SDSU Recycling.

Krista Mays, Sustainability Manager of Housing, Dining and Hospitality at UCSD.

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Avatar for user 'bgulino'

bgulino | November 10, 2009 at 10:22 a.m. ― 7 years, 4 months ago

The show would have benefited from more even-handed analysis. Here's what I took away from the program:
1. People who get paid to run recycling programs think they are a good idea.
2. Recycling programs lose money.

One somewhat jaw-dropping comment by Mr. Grealy was that food waste consists of a high percentage of water. When you calculate the tonnage taken out of the landfill by these programs do you back out the water weight from the savings? Presumably it evaporates anyway.

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Avatar for user 'respach'

respach | November 14, 2009 at 10:18 p.m. ― 7 years, 4 months ago

It's terrific San Diego is expanding their food waste composting! I would love to see curbside food waste pickup here in San Diego. Repealing the People's Ordinance and paying for trash pickup would be well worth it in order to have a progressive program like that.

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