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San Diego Celebrates 'Earth Week' By Teaching Five 'R's'

San Diego Celebrates 'Earth Week' By Teaching Five Rs

Both the city and county of San Diego took time to recognize Earth Day on Tuesday. Earth Day started in the U.S. in 1970 and is now celebrated in more than 192 countries.

Informational booths were set up at the County Operations Center in Kearney Mesa, where the county, the Industrial Environmental Association, and I Love A Clean San Diego, encouraged people to minimize waste by practicing the five “R”s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover.

The county also is doing its own part of save energy and the environment. Michael Rivers of the county’s general services department helps oversee the county’s new electric vehicle fleet.


“We’re going with a lot of hybrids, we’re doing a data log now to see if we can come up with a use for all electrics. That route we’re looking into natural gas and propane vehicles for the light trucks and medium trucks,” Rivers said.

Earth Day Events

April 21-25: UC San Diego Earth Week, UCSD, La Jolla

April 26, I Love A Clean San Diego Creek To Bay Cleanup, Various Locations

April 27, North County Earth Festival, Downtown Oceanside

April 27, Earth Fair, Balboa Park, San Diego

April 27, Multi-Cultural Earth Day Celebration, WorldBeat Cultural Center, Balboa Park

Jack Monger of the Industrial Environmental Association said it’s a good thing people are now taking the time to think about recycling.

“I don’t think 15 or 20 years ago most people spent much time thinking about it, but now it’s second nature, thanks to schools that are really pounding this education into kids nowadays, they always think about it,” Monger said.

Also on Tuesday, City Council proclaimed it “Earth Week” in the city of San Diego.

The proclamation was presented by San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Ed Harris to honor the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and the annual Earth Fair in Balboa Park to be held Sunday.


Gloria said the council is involved in several environmental initiatives, including a proposal to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, developing a plan to respond to climate change, adding solar power panels to city buildings and promoting the use of recycled water.

"So let the word go out that this council is focused on preserving our environment, and we're here Tuesday with stakeholders helping to make that happen, to make sure that San Diego, America's finest city, is recognized as a leader in environmental policy, sustainability and the fight against global climate change," Gloria said.

In 2012, about 68 percent of San Diego's waste was diverted from landfills via recycling or other means. The Miramar Landfill is expected to close in 2022, and California is requiring cities to reduce waste going to landfills by 75 percent by 2020.

Samantha Russo with the group "I Love A Clean San Diego" said plastic bags are a problem at recycling facilities because they actually get tangled up in the equipment.

"Things like hard plastics, like cartons ... can now be put in your blue bin which is great those haven't been able to be recycled for very long, aerosol cans can now go in there as well," she said.