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Convention Center Earns City of San Diego Recycler of the Year Award

CCSD recycler awardVenue Diverted 79 Percent of Total Waste from Local Landfills in 2016

The San Diego Convention Center has been recognized for innovative and successful zero waste efforts by the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department with the Recycler of the Year Award. This marks the sixth time the convention center has achieved this prestigious recognition.

The award was presented on April 6, 2017, at the 25th annual Recycler of the Year ceremony held at the San Diego Central Library. City Councilmember Chris Ward and the City’s Environmental Service Assistant Director Darren Greenhalgh presented the awards to 15 businesses and organizations leading the way to promote sustainable business practices.

The San Diego Convention Center’s President and CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, CFE, Building Superintendent Ron Barham and Executive Director of Communications Barbara Moreno accepted the award.

“Our success is attributed to years of cultivating a green culture, one that takes pride in doing the right thing,” said Rippetoe. “San Diego Convention Center employees are dedicated to sharing our best practices with other businesses in the community and throughout the industry.”

The San Diego Convention Center is a proud industry leader in sustainability. Each program in place as part of daily operations continues to improve, helping reach new record diversion rates. The facility set an all-time recycling record in 2016 by diverting 79 percent (3,162 tons) of total waste from local landfills. That tonnage is equal to about the weight of eight fully-loaded Boeing 747’s.

The great increase was in part due to the recycling of all the concrete removed as part of the Sails Pavilion renovation.

Other waste diversion achievements include the following:

  • Recycling 100 percent of all cardboard (224 tons diverted)
  • Recycling 100 percent of all carpet and carpet pad leftover from events (64.55 tons diverted)
  • Replacement of all fluorescent lighting fixtures in the 525,701 sq ft exhibit hall space
  • All cooking oil is collected and converted into bio-diesel
  • All non-edible food waste is composted

In addition, the convention center is committed to helping the community by donating untouched food to those in need. A total of 91 tons of food was donated to our partners at the San Diego Rescue Mission: that is enough food to plate 145,600 meals. The Rescue Mission also shares convention center food donations with 90 other local non-profits.

As part of the convention center’s community outreach program, public tours now highlight the achievements reached in sustainability, with staff members pointing out examples of best practices in place. These tours have even becoming part of industry meetings held in the facility. An estimated 3,500 facility professionals from around the world visited the San Diego Convention Center during the 32nd annual International Facility Management Association convention and trade show and requested a sustainability tour. Other notable recent tours guests also include the San Diego Zoo GRRREEN team, the Port of San Diego’s Green Business Network and an upcoming tour is planned with the San Diego International Airport.

The convention center is committed to 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.

Learn more about SDCC’s Green Meetings Practices.

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