For the third time, the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) is receiving the City of San Diego’s Recycler of the Year Award. The Convention Center was previously honored by the city for its environmental efforts in 2008 and 2010. The award is part of the city’s 19th Annual Waste Reduction and Diversion Awards Program recognizing businesses that have implemented successful waste reduction, reuse, recycling and recycled product procurement programs. Mayor Jerry Sanders will present the 2011 award to the Convention Center, and other winners, on April 21, the day before Earth Day at the USS Midway Museum.
“We practice Earth Day every day at the Convention Center. From the day we opened our building more than 20 years ago, we’ve always had a recycling program in place, long before other major convention facilities,” said Brad Gessner, general manager.
“Now we have a dedicated in-house “green team,” and besides continually looking for ways to reduce the impact of large events on the environment, we encourage everyone to make simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in our efforts to protect our planet for everyone,” he added.
Last year alone, the Convention Center’s efforts to minimize waste reduction, increase energy efficiency and to conserve water resulted in:
• Recycling more than 45 percent of total waste including cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum and food waste just to name a few;
• Diverting nearly 800 tons of materials away from landfills;
• Savings of 3.4 million kWh through energy efficient retrofits, lighting and equipment; and
• Conserving 81,026 gallons of water through low flow sinks and toilets, drip irrigation and energy-efficient kitchen equipment.
The most recent green improvement was the installation of florescent lighting in the building’s 525,701 square foot exhibit hall, which took place in December 2010. The new lighting fixtures will reduce energy consumption by approximately 44 percent and makes us the first Convention Center in the nation to go 100 percent florescent in the exhibit halls.
The new fixtures also operate approximately seven times cooler than the prior HID lighting and have significantly lowered cooling needs in the exhibit halls. The SDCCC is expected to save an additional 1.3 million kWh in electricity per year with the new system, or the equivalent of offsetting 898 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Some scientists have suggested that excess carbon dioxide is a contributing factor to global warming.
Now celebrating more than 20 years of success, the Convention Center has generated $20.8 billion in regional economic impact, $399.6 million in tax revenues for the City of San Diego and supports 12,500 jobs countywide. The San Diego Convention Center Corporation is a public benefit corporation created by the city to exclusively market, manage and operate the 2.6 million sf waterfront facility.
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