For an impressive third time in five years, the city of San Diego has honored the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) with a 2007 Director’s Recycling Award for our waste reduction and diversion efforts.
Presented annually by the city’s Environmental Services Department, the award recognizes businesses and community organizations for their innovative waste reduction and environmental protection programs. Winners are selected for having programs that contribute to the city’s efforts to divert waste from landfills and to conserve natural resources.
The SDCCC began its “green” program in 1990, shortly after our original building opened and many years ahead of the sustainability programs now in place at other centers.
Our initial efforts started with paper, aluminum can and glass bottle recycling and diverting wooden pallets and clean green waste to our city’s recycling center.
Through the years, we expanded these efforts, adopting a policy of “recycle, reduce, reuse.” In 2006 alone, the SDCCC recycled more than 1,050 tons or 33 percent of our total waste and donated 211 tons of food and convention items to local schools and charities. A food composting program launched in June of this year is expected to divert 240 tons of prep food scraps annually from our kitchen.
The 2007 Director’s Recycling Award brings to five the total number of city and state awards our Center has earned for its environmental efforts. In addition to winning the Director’s Recycling Award in 2003 and again in 2006, we received a State of California’s WRAP (Waste Reduction Award Program) Award in 2003 and a 2005 SANDEE (San Diego Excellence in Energy) Award in the non-profit category. The SANDEE award was given for our Central Plant Efficiency Project, which included a heating/cooling system upgrade that is now saving us 29.9 million kWh annually.
“Winning these awards confirms that we are continuing to make significant progress in our efforts to host green meetings in a building that adheres to eco-friendly practices,” said SDCCC General Manager Brad Gessner. “But more importantly, environmental sustainability is the right thing to do.”