Ten Cities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Areas Join Program
Global Green USA, a not-for-profit fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future, announced today the results from its food scrap reduction and composting program which it brought to 31 new buildings in 10 cities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Areas in 2016 and 2017. Global Green educated over 650 households on the benefits of composting food scraps and provided valuable training and resources, which led to nearly 85,000 lbs or 42.5 tons of organic waste being composted.Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Food Scrap Pilot Project History
Global Green first launched the food scrap pilot project in 2014 in downtown Los Angeles and Albany, California. The project’s goal to divert food scraps from landfills and determine the best practices in effective tenant outreach and engagement that could guide large-scale programs gained a lot of momentum in 2016 with the support of funding from the Walmart Foundation. Global Green expanded to 17 new mostly low to middle-income multi-family dwellings (MFDs) in Los Angeles County and 14 in the San Francisco Bay Area, including four control sites that served as test markets to measure the success of new tenant education programs and food scrap engagement.
Global Green is working in collaboration with municipalities, housing associations, haulers and property managers throughout this initiative, including the City of Santa Monica, the San Francisco Department of Environment, Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority Recycle Smart, South Bayside Waste Management Authority Rethink Waste, and Athens Services.
Athens Services, one of the few food scrap hauling companies with a composting facility, took their partnership with Global Green to the next level by developing, executing and supporting all of the Los Angeles-based pilot programs. As one of the largest waste and recycling companies in California, Athens transported much of the organic material collected from these MFDs, including vegetables, meat, dairy, and food-soiled paper, to its facility in Victorville, Calif.
Program Results By the Numbers
Global Green reached 651 households, working with over 20 building owners/operators and 5 waste haulers to divert nearly 85,000 lbs (or 42.5 tons) of organic waste to be composted.
These significant results were achieved through the cradle-to- cradle explanation of organics diversion (seed to food, food to waste, waste to soil, soil to seed), to help residents feel a deeper understanding of why food scrap diversion is important. Through an innovative, community “Eco-Ambassador” Program, Global Green was able to exceed its goal of 500 multi-family building residents, reaching over 650 households through this grassroots outreach method which included informational brochures, one on one discussions, and overcoming language barriers through translated materials in Spanish, Chinese and Russian and outreach with bilingual staff.
Creating a Sustainable Culture
Many tenants felt the program was very important and viewed it favorably despite the extra work of having to separate out their food scraps from other waste. Richard Ralston of Martinez, California, commented, “I am very grateful for Global Green providing myself and others an opportunity to participate in composting, even as an apartment dweller. As a former composter of fruit trees at a house I rented, being able to participate in composting at my current apartment gives me a great sense of contribution to our planet.”
There was a collective sense of pride among residents, with many feeling that they were making a great impact. Several residents remarked on how critical these programs are for the environment and that they believed composting food scraps is important for future generations. In Santa Monica, Global Green witnessed children as young as three join their parents during outreach events and was invited to step inside individual apartment units to discuss composting with the entire household.
“The idea is to create a culture within our resident communities and also with our partners and management agencies to develop ways to improve the resident experience by including things like composting,” said Les McCabe, President, and CEO of Global Green. “We have seen firsthand the many ways communities benefit from adopting composting and waste management programs, beyond the positive environmental implications.”
Through the continued support of The Walmart Foundation, Global Green will embark on phase two of the project, helping to grow composting programs in existing areas while expanding markets by aligning urban planning practices with the geographic distribution of waste processing sites, and working to improve urban soil through the incorporation of compost use into green building and landscape design.
Global Green is dedicating more resources to evaluate and expand urban compost use, including collaborating with an advisory board comprised of representatives of building, urban planning, waste management, and compost market sectors to develop educational resources and a “how-to” guide for incorporating compost use into integrated building and landscape designs.
This innovative model will be shared with municipal governments, waste agencies, and community organizations both locally and nationally in order to close the gap in food scrap collection practice and leadership by cities.
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