San Diego Convention Center Sets Environmental Record

April 24, 2015

In 2014, San Diego Convention Center diverted 60 percent of all event waste, approximately 1,120 tons, from local landfills, setting a new record. The effort is part of the City of San Diego’s initiative to reach 75 percent diversion by 2020 and zero waste by 2040.

“We are proud of our ongoing success minimizing the environmental impact of meetings in our facility and our team is committed to building on our strong record.” said Carol Wallace, president & CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

Initial recycling efforts at the convention center began in 1990 with the placement of clearly marked bins to help to make it effortless for attendees to keep recyclables out of the waste stream. In 2011, the convention center achieved LEED-EBOM Silver Certification for the successful efforts by the Corporation and its staff to reduce waste, conserve water and improve energy efficiency at the 2.6 million square foot facility.

The recycled materials include paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, used batteries, printer ink cartridges, lightbulbs, tires, baled cardboard, wooden pallets, copper wire, carpet and cooking oil.

Other green efforts include 100 percent fluorescent lights for energy efficiency as well as water conservation, with 81,061 gallons of water saved with low-flow automatic sinks and toilets throughout facility, drip irrigation and an energy efficient dishwasher in the main on-site kitchen.

Fruits vegetables, olive oils and seafood are purchased from local farms and suppliers that are within a 100 mile radius, as supply and season allows. All food scraps are composted, eliminating the need for garbage disposals in our kitchen.

Environmentally responsible cleaning products are purchased for carpets, floors, kitchens and bathrooms.

Recently the Corporation has been considering Phase III expansion to increase the capacity of the convention center by 33 percent, adding 200,000 – 225,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and an 80,000 sq. ft. ballroom. 

However, the efforts have been put on hold pending a financial and economic feasibility study and an evaluation of expanding the current facility into continuous exhibit space, as well as an expansion of exhibit and meeting space near the current facility for a campus-like environment. The study is expected to be completed by mid-summer 2015.

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