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Baja, California celebrates urban composting center

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and the Municipality of Tijuana celebrated the opening of the Urban Composting Center in Tijuana, Mexico.

This is the first center of its kind on the Mexican side of the border region. The compost center will produce about 150 tons of compost in its first year which will be used to plant trees and nurseries throughout Tijuana.

The center was funded through a $73,000 Border 2012 grant to Tijuana Calidad de Vida, a non-governmental organization, creating a partnership with Tijuana’s Municipality to develop landscape grade compost from landscape cuttings supplied by the municipality.

An additional $20,000 under the new Border 2020 Program will be used to increase municipal capacity and raise community awareness on the benefits of composting and a path to zero waste.

The Urban Composing Center will be used to build municipal expertise on compost practices, as well as an educational venue to increase public awareness about composting as a practice to divert reusable, organic material from landfills.

Some of the grant money will go towards the development of a compost practice manual for distribution throughout the border region, a website with composting information resources and workshops for the city, community and other institutions to learn about composting practices. Many of the educational tools and resources were developed in collaboration with the City of San Diego, through the shared U.S.– Mexico Border partnership.

The Miramar Greenery composting facility in San Diego, California, for example, hosted several Mexican officials and advised the new center on institutional composting practices. The Urban Composting Center has already trained more than 170 individuals from various institutions to educate the public on how composting is used to redirect food, landscape and other organics from dumps and landfills.