Nonprofit Solana Center for Environmental Innovation recognized for 40th anniversary

Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz (right) presenting Solana Center with a proclamation for its 40th anniversary.
(Solana Center for Environmental innovation)

The nonprofit Solana Center for Environmental Innovation celebrated its 40th anniversary Aug. 9 with a proclamation from the Encinitas City Council.

Based in Encinitas, the Solana Center started as Solana Recyclers in 1983, offering one of the first curbside recycling programs in the nation. By 1989, the organization earned recognition as “Best Curbside Recycling Program in California” by the California Resource Recovery Association, according to the Solana Center website (recycling is now handled by EDCO).

“The mission started out to just provide curbside recycling and it’s expanded a lot,” said Kate Kesner, the nonprofit’s outreach and communications coordinator, “especially to address climate change and how our regional action can influence a global issue and help solve a global issue.”

Solana Center programs include food waste prevention and free compost consultations for residents, consultations for businesses on reducing waste, presentations to students and other resources for the community. It also partners with local governments for trainings, consultations and other guidance on environmental practices and meeting climate goals.

Some of the Solana Center’s educational events in the community in August are at Vons in Serra Mesa, Smart & Final in the Midway District and Jimbo’s in Torrey Pines, all funded by the city of San Diego.

“I think it shows how closely we work together, and how government and nonprofits can do a lot of great things together,” Kesner said. “And also a continued dedication to environmentalism in the city of Encinitas.”

Jessica Toth, the executive director of the Solana Center for Environmental innovation, told the Del Mar Times in a 2021 interview how the nonprofit has grown over the years.

“The consistency across borders of the different cities is very important, in my view, as well as the economies of scale for them to be able to, for example, have all consistent signage or workshops with the same messaging,” Toth said. “That’s the direction we’re going in.”

Visit for more information.