Solana Center receives state environmental honor


Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, based in Encinitas, stood among other prominent organizations to accept the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) on Jan. 19. Executive Director Jessica Toth attended the award ceremony held at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.

Solana Center received the award for its “Organics Marketplace” demonstration projects and waste diversion programs that have kept more than 16,000 tons of organic waste out of regional landfills. Based on its experience working with local businesses, Solana Center estimates the potential cumulative savings for organics diversion in San Diego County to be $20 million per year.

“Surplus food and the ensuing food waste, are huge problems,” Toth said. “We are pioneering strategic innovations to create replicable programs so that food scrap remains within the community that generated it.”

Established in 1993, GEELA is awarded to individuals, companies and organizations that use sustainable business practices to conserve energy, reduce waste or prevent pollution while contributing to their local economy. This year, 12 California organizations received the award. For more information, visit