City Names San Diego Convention Center Top Recycler of the Year

Our commitment to sustainability has earned the San Diego Convention Center recognition as a top recycler in the City of San Diego.

Our venue was honored with an award from the City's Environmental Services Department on Tuesday, May 1, for our efforts in hosting green meetings. This is the seventh time the Convention Center has achieved this prestigious recognition. Each year, the City selects businesses and organizations in San Diego that have implemented or expanded innovative and successful waste reduction, recycling and recycled product purchasing programs

"Sustainability is part of our DNA at the San Diego Convention Center," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Karen Totaro. "Every member of our staff is looking for ways to improve our business practices and each program in place as part of daily operations continues to improve, helping reach new record diversion rates."

The facility was able to divert 68 percent of our total waste (1,918 tons) from local landfills in calendar year 2017. In addition, 100 percent of all cardboard was recycled. We were able to donate 58.4 tons of untouched food (leftover by events) to our partners at the San Diego Rescue Mission. That was enough food to plate 93,440 meals to those in need.

Here are some of our other notable sustainability achievements:

  • Increased the number of recycling containers in the facility by 50
  • Donated 1,200 surplus chairs to local non-profits
  • Recycled 10,000 old metal chairs
  • Provided training to our facilities and cleaning services staff on the proper separation of recyclables
  • 2017 was also the year the venue achieved a LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Buildings Council

During public outreach and tours, convention center staff highlight the achievements reached in sustainability and point out along the tour route physical examples of the practices in place such as the new LED Lighting in the exhibit floor as well as our composting efforts in our garbage-disposal free kitchens.

In addition, the Convention Center's in-house food and beverage team Centerplate has a sustainable food purchasing plan. As often as possible, they purchase produce, vegetables and proteins, such as locally-caught fish, from within a 150-mile radius of our venue. Local farmers and vendors say this partnership is crucial to their business and helps boost the local economy.

Other local businesses and organizations were honored for their sustainable business practices, including Qualcomm, the San Diego International Airport, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

The Convention Center is helping the City of San Diego in its Climate Action Plan, which strives for 75 percent waste diversion by 2020, 90 percent diversion by 2035, and "zero" by 2040.

Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on May 4, 2018

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