Zero Waste

The Zero Waste strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to local landfills. Methane—a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2)—is emitted when waste (primarily organic material) decomposes in landfills. Successful implementation of this strategy depends on the expansion of recycling and composting programs, in addition to participation from City residents and businesses to reduce waste and increase diversion.

Implementation of the Zero Waste strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s GHG emissions by 2,830 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 9,216 MTCO2e by 2030. Explore the sections below to learn about the City’s planned and ongoing actions to achieve these goals.


Divert Solid Waste

Zero Waste Program

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from landfills by implementing a Zero Waste Program that promotes waste prevention, recycling, and diversion of organic waste. To achieve this goal, the City works closely with EDCO. EDCO leverages green technologies, such as a state-of-the-art Resource Recovery Facility, that properly sorts the City’s co-mingled recycling waste. Most recently, in 2021, EDCO began collecting and processing food waste for recycling.

The City also supports at-home management of organic waste through educational workshops and subsidies to purchase compost and worm bins. Residents can learn more about composting resources on the City's website. The City’s Zero Waste Program also features numerous workshops, educational programs, and other services to support waste reduction in partnership with local organizations such as the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, I Love a Clean San Diego, BCK Programs, and several Encinitas schools. Some of the many City-funded initiatives include a compost bin subsidy program and an annual Zero Waste Fair. To learn more about the City's Zero Waste programs, visit the City's website.

"Pounds Per Person Per Day" shows the approximate amount of waste each resident of Encinitas produces per day. 
lbs/person/dayPounds per Person per Day


Divert Solid Waste

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to divert 65% of the City’s solid waste from the landfill by 2020 and divert 80% of waste by 2030. This is equivalent to reducing our waste generation rates to 5.3 pounds per person per day (lbs/person/day) by 2020 and 3 lbs/person/day by 2030.

If these goals are achieved, the CAP estimated this would result in a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of approximately 2,830 MTCO2e and 9,216 MTCO2e, respectively. According to CalRecycle, the amount of waste generated by the City of Encinitas has fluctuated between 5.6 and 6.1 lbs/person/day since 2012.

Divert Solid Waste

Organic (Green Waste and Food Waste) Recycling

In early 2021, EDCO completed construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to serve the San Diego region, including Encinitas residents. The AD facility uses microorganisms to break down material into digestate and renewable natural gas (RNG) in an air-tight environment that eliminates the release of methane. Digestate is rich in nutrients and can be further processed into fertilizer for crops. RNG can be used to fuel trucks or for energy, displacing the need for fossil fuels.

In June 2021, curbside organics recycling became available to Encinitas residents in single-family homes through EDCO’s new program. Food scraps and green waste are now collected and processed at EDCO's AD facility. Organics recycling services for multifamily properties and businesses will be rolled out at a later date. See the City's Trash and Recycling webpage to learn more about the program.

The City also supports at-home management of organics waste through educational workshops and subsidies. Residents can learn more about composting resources on the City's website.


Divert Solid Waste

How You Can Help

Sort Your Kitchen Scraps for the Organics Recycling Program

Find Out What Goes in the Green Bin
Start a Compost or Worm Bin

Purchase a Subsidized Bin
Fight Food Waste in the Kitchen

Check Out Resources from "Save the Food"
Boost Your Waste Knowledge with EDCO’s Recycling Guide

Watch a Quick Video

Status of CAP Implementation