reEarth Consulting worked with the City of Carlsbad to implement a multi-phase program to educate and support residents in Carlsbad engage in home composting and general organics waste reduction
reEarth Consulting was founded in 2018 to accelerate the transition to a regenerative and prosperous economy, a healthier environment and a more equitable society. Working with governments, other public entities and corporations, reEarth brings wisdom, practicality and guidance to support the transformation and regeneration of human and ecological systems so that current and future generations may thrive.
Our team of consultants have over 20 years of combined expertise, experience and vision to help clients achieve their sustainability goals through outreach, education, and realistic transition plans that assist and accelerate the implementation of environmental innitiatives. Our mission is to put people and our planet at the heart of all we do.
We remain committed to bringing holistic and systematic metrics into the core of our implementation strategies to bring about lasting and impactful change. We created this case study with the City of Carlsbad to share our process and approach to further inspire the acceleration and adoption of California’s SB 1383: a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) by reducing organic waste disposal to 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
SB 1383 Background: California’s Organic Waste Reduction
reEarth Consulting designed, developed and implemented a program that addressed compostable yard waste and kitchen scraps generated by residences for the City of Carlsbad between 2018 and 2022. The residents addressed in the program were of several types of home dwellings, including apartments, condos, townhomes, homes with small gardens and homes with large gardens.
The program targeted several existing California laws, in particular SB 1383, which encourages local jurisdictions to conduct education and outreach on organics recycling to residents in the pursuit of reaching 75% diversion of organics by 2025. This program included several elements to inspire, empower and support residents to reduce organic waste and compost at home, including: outreach, education, technical assistance, financial incentives and community building.
The Client: City of Carlsbad
Carlsbad, California is a coastal city located in northern San Diego County. The city has made a commitment to sustainability and has implemented a number of programs and initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. In 2019, the City of Carlsbad was named one of the top 100 "Green Cities" in the United States by the National Geographic Society, and the city has received several awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its recycling and energy-saving programs.
The City of Carlsbad, hired reEarth to design, develop and implement a program to divert organic waste generated by residents. Additionally, the City also wanted to bring awareness and educate as many residents as possible on the importance and benefits of recycling organic materials, also known as composting, in the City of Carlsbad and beyond.
It is important to note that the City of Carlsbad did not have curbside organics recycling programs established in the entire jurisdiction during the time of the program and therefore the program had a very high importance in diverting organics from the landfill.
Strategy & Goals
We at reEarth, designed a comprehensive program that included three key components of implementation:
The program also offered outreach and education at recurring farmer's markets, which proved to be a major success, providing residents with an in-person opportunity to learn about composting in a fun and interactive environment. At the farmer’s markets, reEarth filled the city booth with educational displays, hands-on demonstrations, and engaging workshops. Residents had the opportunity to talk with composting experts and learn about the different methods of composting and the benefits it provides. The reEarth outreach team also distributed informational materials and provide technical assistance. The farmer's market proved to be an excellent platform for engaging with the community and promoting composting, as it allowed residents to learn about the benefits of composting while shopping for fresh, locally grown produce.
Additionally, reEarth designed an Earth Day Festival in Carlsbad, attracting hundreds of residents and creating a buzz about composting. The festival was filled with interactive activities, educational workshops, and engaging exhibits. There were hands-on demonstrations of composting techniques and information on how to get involved in local waste reduction efforts. Throughout the day, residents learned about the benefits of composting, how to start their own composting efforts at home, and how they can make a difference in their community. The festival helped to raise awareness about composting and waste reduction, and it was evident that the residents of Carlsbad left the event with a better understanding of the important role composting plays in a sustainable future. The festival was a testament to the power of community engagement and the positive impact it can have on promoting environmentally friendly practices.
reEarth executed on a strong diversity of educational outreach strategies (Earth Day Festival, farmer’s markets booths, social media videos, email newsletters, in-person and online workshops, and other approaches) with the goal of building an interactive community of local residents. By engaging residents in ongoing discussions about their experiences with home composting through multiple touch points, participation in the program and waste reduction efforts significantly increased.
Additionally, when the reEarth team worked with the City to provide subsidized composting supplies to city residents, this increased the efficacy and implementation of the program, removing any financial burdens for city residents to begin composting.
Overall, the program was a huge success in helping divert organic waste and inspire residents to begin home composting:
City-wide composting programs are important because they help to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which in turn can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Organic material in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as it decomposes. Composting this material instead can turn it into a useful soil amendment, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and the associated energy costs. Additionally, composting can help to improve soil health, retain moisture in gardens and landscaping, and reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation.
Composting can also help cities to be more sustainable by diverting organic material from landfills, reducing the need for new landfills, and saving space in existing landfills. Additionally, composting can create jobs and stimulate local economies by creating a new industry.
In summary, city-wide composting programs can help to reduce waste, combat climate change, improve soil health, save water and money, create jobs and stimulate local economies, and promote a more sustainable future for cities. Therefore, it is important for all cities across America to have city-wide composting initiatives.
Cities across the state are working to comply with SB 1383. If you have any questions regarding SB 1383, or how to adopt policies and run programs conducive to compliance with this law, please contact reEarth Consulting. Email: info@reEarthConsulting.com
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