San Diego to construct $77M composting facility

The new facility is slated to compost about 250,000 tons of organic material per year, which is far more than the city’s current 40,000-ton capacity.

Downtown San Diego

© Giuliano Maciocci | stock.adobe.com

San Diego, California, has plans to spend $77 million on a large-scale composting plant in Miramar to process all yard trimmings, food scraps and other organic materials.

City officials tell The San Diego Union-Tribune they expect the plant, which is anticipated to be the county’s largest composting facility, to help other communities and haulers comply with new S.B. 1383 requirements.

The facility is currently scheduled to open in the summer of 2024, but its construction has been overshadowed by recent city efforts to launch residential green waste collection by delivering recycling bins and kitchen pails to more than 250,000 customers.

As reported by the Union-Tribune, the first wave of bins was delivered this month, and bin delivery will continue until all customers have them in August.

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Although San Diego is already home to the region’s largest composting facility, the city plans to tear down and replace it rather than expand. The old facility, called the Miramar Greenery, was built in the 1990s and expanded in 2009. The larger version will be located at a separate part of the Miramar Landfill.

City officials say it makes more sense to move the facility because the greenery is on top of an area of the landfill that has significant unused capacity, worth about $100 million. Rather, the new composting plant will be built farther east at the landfill.

Construction will be conducted by Santa Ana-based Sukut Construction LLC, which has built similar composting facilities in Irvine and San Juan Capistrano.

The new facility is expected to have a processing capacity of 250,000 tons per year, which is far more than the current 40,000-ton capacity at the Greenery. The city says it aims to collect about 125,000 tons of organic materials per year.

City councilmembers are still weighing in on the costs and revenue potential related to moving composting operations, the Union-Tribune reports. There are also discussions about allowing the city’s private commercial haulers to use the composting facility, but for a fee. 

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