LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and the Municipality of Tijuana today 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. Using less materials, reducing toxics, and recovering more of the materials used, creates a more sustainable community.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this center, a model for communities throughout Baja California as they incorporate composting into their everyday practices,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The composting center will help protect the environment on both sides of the border by reducing waste within our shared San Diego/Tijuana watershed that would have gone to landfills.”
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.
'For BECC the inauguration of the first compost center in the city of Tijuana, Baja California is very important. This is a demonstrative project that will be used in the parks and gardens of the city with sustainable practices because of the use of organic materials. It will also serve as an educational center for public awareness regarding the benefits of composting and it's funded by the Border 2020 Environment Program', said Maria Elena Giner, General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission.
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, Calif., for example, hosted several Mexican officials and advised the new center on institutional composting practices. The Urban Composting Center has already trained more than170 individuals from various institutions to educate the public on how composting is used to redirect food, landscape and other organics from dumps and landfills.
Today’s opening celebration is part of EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld’s two day visit to San Diego and Mexico. Blumenfeld will also meet with tribes in San Diego, tour a solar panel plant in Tijuana and visit the Toyota Manufacturing plant in Tecate, Mexico.
The Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program is a bi-national border environment program (formerly Border 2012) that enhances the ability of cities on both sides of the border to build capacity to improve the environment. Border 2020 builds on past efforts by emphasizing regional and locally driven approaches for decision making, priority setting, and project implementation to address the environmental and public health challenges in the border region.
For more information on the Urban Composting Center, please visit: http://calidad-de-vida.org/wordpress/
For more information on the Border 2020 program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/border2020/index.html