ABOUT US

Our Mission

Empower innovative solutions to climate change through education, community engagement, and research.

Our Vision

A world with landfills and oceans free of discarded resources.

Our History

Founded as Solana Recyclers in 1983, we are proud to have pioneered the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in San Diego - and one of the first such programs in the State of California. Together with our partners, we work creatively to promote the sustainable management of our natural resources and connect the community to real solutions. The San Diego region is constantly changing, and we change with it.

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1983

Founded as Solana Recyclers by a group of local residents committed to educating the community about the importance of recycling in order to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

1989

Solana Recyclers named "Best Curbside Recycling Program in California" by the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) at that time serving 22,000+ households.

1991

Solana Recyclers' household recycling program was acquired by local waste hauler company resulting in a shift to direct community education prioritizing soil, water, and waste diversion. 

1994

First Master Composter Course held at San Marcos landfill.

2003

Organization's name shifts from Solana Recyclers to Solana Center for Environmental Innovation to reflect the focus on education and action within public and private partnerships required to address the environmental challenges in our region.

2016

Awarded the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) California's highest environmental honor for demonstrating closed-loop community compost system between local restaurant and farm.

2016

Solana Center begins Food Cycle to demonstrate a closed loop community system for handling waste.

2019

Solana Center begins working on a pilot program to connect grocery store food waste to farmers to create a local closed loop food system. 

2022

SB 1383 enforcement goes into effect across California, with Solana Center providing San Diego's jurisdictions and businesses expert assistance in legislative compliance. 

2023

Proud recipient of the US Compost Council Organics Diversion Program of the Year Award.

Present

Curious what we've been up to recently? Check out our media and awards page.

The Impact

With the help of our dedicated community, Solana Center has:

Scroll through our latest report above, click the bottom right corner to expand, or click for a downloadable PDF.
Viewing on mobile? We suggest viewing it in PDF.

Staff & Board

Are you interested in joining the Solana Center team? Check out our job openings.

Leadership Team

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Jessica Toth

(she/her/hers)

Executive Director

jessica@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 713

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Mallika Sen

(she/her/hers)

Director of Environmental Solutions

mallika@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 724

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Sue Ruiz

(she/her/hers)

Accountant/Finance Director

Sue@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 703

IG Posts (36)

Kayleigh Dearstyne-Hulin

(she/her/hers)

Contracts Manager

kayleigh.dearstyne@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ex. 716

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Robin Fator

(she/her/hers)

Marketing and Development Manager

robin.fator@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ex. 719

IG Posts (22)

Drew Keske

(he/him/his)

Associate Manager of Development

drew.keske@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ex. 723

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Erin Stone

(she/her/hers)

Education Associate Manager

erin@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 711

 Education & Outreach

Please contact (760) 436-7986 ex. 711 for education inquiries.

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Jennifer Galey

Senior Environmental Educator

jennifer@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 702

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Sarah Van Horn

(she/her/hers)

Education & Outreach Specialist, Rain Barrel Lead

sarah.vanhorn@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ext. 709

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Deanna Milton

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Educator

deanna.milton@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ext. 708

IG Posts - January - December 2024 (50)

Natalie Mazur

(she/her/hers)

Bilingual Environmental Educator

natalie.mazur@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ext. 725

Environmental Solutions

Please contact (760) 436-7986 ex. 724 for programming inquiries.

IG Posts (44)

Leia Berube

(she/her/hers)

Manager, Environmental Solutions

leia.berube@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 701

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Gurpuran Singh

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Solutions Lead

gurpuran.singh@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 712

IG Posts - January - December 2024 (6)

Larissa Amaral

(she/her/hers)

Associate Manager of Environmental Solutions

larissa.amaral@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 718

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Amanda Smith

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Solutions Lead

amanda.smith@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 717

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Jackie Bookstein

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Solutions Project Manager

jackie@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 706

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Megan Phelps

(she/her/hers)

Bilingual Environmental Solutions Lead

megan.phelps@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 721

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Liz Murphy

(she/her/hers)

Environmental Solutions Lead

liz.murphy@solanacenter.org (760) 436-7986 ex. 714

Marketing & Engagement

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Liz Davis

(she/her/hers)

Volunteer & Community Engagement Specialist

liz.davis@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ext. 707

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Kate Kesner

(she/her/hers)

Outreach & Communications Lead

kate.kesner@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ext. 705

Social Posts - Mid-March 2024 On (46)

Charlie Fator

(he/him/his)

Marketing Assistant

charlie.fator@solanacenter.org

Operations Management

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Michael Murphy

(he/him/his)

Facility Manager

mike@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 708

Social Posts - Mid-March 2024 On (88)

Nicolle Selby-Thomas

(she/her/hers)

Partnerships & Strategic Support

nicolle@solanacenter.org
(760) 436-7986 ex. 722

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Geny Hill

(she/her/hers)

Internal Operations Support

geny.hill@solanacenter.org

(760) 436-7986 ex. 726

Board of Directors

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Russell Levan

(he/him/his)

Board President

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David Levy

(he/him/his)

Board Member

Kristin Headshot_BOD

Kristin Larson

(she/her/hers)

Board Vice President

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Chris Spielmaker

(she/her/hers)

Board Member

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Mary Ann Stone

(she/her/hers)

Board Treasurer

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Connie Adams

(she/her/hers)

Board Member

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Caroline Hobbs

(she/her/hers)

Board Secretary

IG Posts - January - December 2024 (41)

Aimee Newman

(she/her/hers)

Board Member

Interested in joining our Board?

Contact director@solanacenter.org with details on your background, relevant community involvement and how you see yourself fitting within our organization!