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County Offers Free Assistance for Local Composting and Food Waste

Ramona businesses and equestrian services may qualify for the recycling program.

San Diego County is offering free assistance to businesses that want to develop programs to cut food waste, manage compostable materials and save money.

“Currently up to 50 percent of the materials taken to landfills in the County are edible, compostable or suitable for creating mulch,” said program lead Michael Wonsidler, waste management coordinator of the Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Section at the County of San Diego. “Recycling materials such as food scraps, yard trimmings, manure and other compostable materials improve air and water quality, reduce soil erosion and revitalize agricultural and garden soils.”

Any company in unincorporated San Diego County that generates a large volume of edible or compostable material may be eligible for assistance. Those businesses include agriculture, food manufacturing, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, landscapers, equestrian services and many others.

“Participating companies may save money by recycling since that material tends to be the heaviest portion of what gets thrown away, and landfills charge by the ton,” said Wonsidler.

Composting and food waste reduction experts have been contracted to work with managers to develop these programs.

Legislation recently adopted by the State of California requires increased recycling. Since more paper, plastic, glass and aluminum are being recycled; food scraps and other compostable materials represent a larger percentage of what ends up in landfills. Compostable materials also cause methane generation and other problems when buried or mismanaged.

People interested in learning more about the program can contact Rich Flammer, the County’s consultant for this project, at 619-758-0726 or rflammer@zerowasteconsultants.com

—County News Center

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