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Mid-Scale Composting Demo Center

Solana Center's Mid-Scale Composting Demo Center is demonstration and training center where food-generating entities – from restaurants and grocers to HOAs and corporate cafeterias – can come to learn about managing their own food waste onsite. The San Diego region does not have facilities to process even a small portion of the food waste it generates. At the same time, local businesses and jurisdictions need support meeting the demands of AB 1826, California's bill to keep organics out of the landfill. The site, located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, provides motivated restauranteurs, office cafeteria managers, community gardeners, farmers, entrepreneurs, city planners, and others the opportunity to assess the suitability of various solutions to their environment.

We currently have the following working displays:

  1. Vermi-composting – 30-foot mechanized through-flow bin that processes pre-consumer food scraps
  2. Aerated static piles – 8-cubic yard (cy) and 10-cy wood bins designed by O2 Compost that processes kitchen food scraps, horse manure and bedding, and landscaping material
  3. In-vessel device – 1.4-cy Green Mountain Technologies Earth Cube that processes kitchen scraps and greens and browns from the Del Mar Fairgrounds grounds 
  4. Dual-chambered tumbler – 3-cy tumbler for traditional composting that demonstrates, along with the Earth Cube, aggressive vector control strategy 
  5. Black soldier fly larvae nursery – Observation tank will be connected to a chicken coop where the self-harvesting larvae will become protein-rich food source for chickens; processes pre- and post-consumer food scraps
  6. Bokashi pretreatment system – 5-gallon bucket with airtight lid utilizing Bokashi-innoculated bran allows us to stockpile pre- and post-consumer food scraps until we are ready to use them

Each of the displays have signage describing how the method scales up and listing pros and cons of the system.

Strict adherence to local land and water use regulations are very important at this site, which is managed by the state of California. Covered bins demonstrate mitigation of greenhouse and noxious gases as well as containment of dust. Leachate is minimized through various strategies, both by design and in practice. 


Contact us to schedule a tour or to be notified about the next mid-scale composting training course.