Culver City Observer -

Santa Monica Sets Zero Waste Goal of 95% by 2030


April 14, 2016

The Resource Recovery and Recycling (R3) Division of the City of Santa Monica prides itself on being an environmental leader. In 2014, Council approved the Zero Waste Strategic Plan requiring the City to reach 95% diversion by 2030. This step to help protect the environment was welcomed by the R3 division, which offers comprehensive recycling and organics collection services for all residents, institutions, and many businesses. These cutting edge environmental initiatives and programs: single stream recycling, citywide organics collection, Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) pick-up at your door, textile recycling (locations through-out the City), bulky item pick up, Santa Monica Swap or Share (SMSOS) where residents can sign up to swap or share items in the City, and the my waste app, a free app with complete waste and recycling information contributes to the City reaching diversion rates well above the State's mandated goal.

As a progressive innovator, R3 continues to tests new ways to achieve zero waste. This year, R3 implemented a tennis ball recycling program, is in the process of starting a zero waste program at the Public Safety Facility and a "to rot or not" campaign with selected businesses. In general, for any program to be successful, R3 encourages everyone to learn about materials that may have been thought of as garbage. What many consider "garbage" is mostly compostable, recyclable or recoverable. To learn about the zero waste strategic plan or about which materials and appropriate container to place materials visit

In addition to providing solid waste management to residents and businesses, R3 cleans Santa Monica's streets, sidewalks and even bins and carts all while incorporating state of the art methods and technology to reduce the impact on the environment. R3 uses treated urban run off for street sweeping instead of potable water, thereby saving approximately 400,000 gallons of water a year.

R3 also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Our next event, the Repair Cafe will be held on April 30. Then on May 7, R3 will host a Smart Gardening Workshop. More events include: Paper Shredding (June 11), Electronics Recycling (June 11), Citywide Yard Sale (September 24), and more. Visit to learn about all of our upcoming events.

Together we can achieve zero waste.

Children's Earth Day at Star Eco

Come celebrate Planet Earth with the STARs! On Sunday, April 17th, 2016, the eco-friendly folks here at the STAR Eco Station and STAR Education are throwing our 16th Annual Children's Earth Day Extravaganza in the only way we know how...HUGE! GREEN! AND FOR ALL AGES! This mega celebration will feature exotic wildlife, student performances, games and rides, face painting, tons of food, celebrity guests and more!

Last year, more than 30,000 people attended this one-of-a-kind celebration, which has been recognized as the LA Times' "Best Earth Day Pick" and "Best Children's Earth Day" by LA Parent Magazine. This year will be bigger and better, with an exclusive trailer screening of Disney's new film The Jungle Book, along with a super cool Green Screen Photo Booth for interactive Disney fun.

Children's Earth Day is also a perfect time to tour the STAR Eco Station's Exotic Wildlife Rescue Museum at a discounted rate. In addition to over 300 animals, we have just welcomed a young Bobcat and 3 Foxes to our sanctuary. So be sure to join us as we promote "PRESERVATION THROUGH EDUCATION" and enlighten our Los Angeles community with a multisensory experience that everyone can enjoy!

Star Eco Station is located at 10101 Jefferson Blvd. in culver city. They can be reached by phone at (310) 842-8060 or on the web at:

Working to Make Every Day Earth Day

Local Santa Monica company is helping make every day – and night – earth friendly with the next generation of clean energy technology

Santa Monica-based SolarReserve is answering the call to curb climate change with breakthrough solar energy storage technology utilizing California innovation that can produce solar generated electricity 24 hours a day. The technology uses mirrors to focus the sun's energy to directly heat molten salt and then store it so electricity can be produced day and night. The company's Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada is the first utility-scale solar power plant ever built in the world with fully integrated energy storage technology. Utilizing the sun's energy, and requiring no fossil fuels, the project delivers electricity on demand, much like a coal, oil, natural gas or nuclear power plant, except with zero emissions, no hazardous waste and low water use. This first-of-a kind clean power plant that can generate electricity around-the-clock holds great promise for helping curb the world's climate crisis and disrupting the status quo.

"Our company's mission is to develop a cleaner source of electricity to help sustain and protect our planet for the world's growing climate change issues," states CEO Kevin Smith. "Solar energy-by its nature-typically has only been useful on an intermittent basis, and, without energy storage, is difficult to manage and cannot be used at night. Solar technology that can handle that need for energy storage is solar thermal. With California's requirement that 50% of the state's electricity generation come from renewable sources such as solar and wind power by 2030, storage facilities such as Crescent Dunes have great potential."

The climate deal unveiled at COP 21 in Paris has the potential to catalyze a global energy transformation. It will further accelerate implementation of renewables around the world, including within emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and Asia. And as renewable energy penetration grows, the need for cost-effective, utility-scale renewable generation with storage technology is becoming increasingly important for mitigating intermittency problems, delivering power into peak demand periods that extend into evening hours, and supporting transmission system reliability. SolarReserve's proven energy storage technology developed right here in our home state of California, is already being used as a blueprint for projects in these emerging markets.

Community and environmental engagement in SolarReserve is driven from the top and is a very integral part of the company's global culture and the way they operate. As a philosophy every member of the team strives to find various avenues through which they are able to support community and environmental causes they believe in. SolarReserve's Santa Monica office has committed to a long-term relationship with Bright Star Schools in the Los Angeles area, a group of charter schools located in communities where students and families otherwise had few good school choices. Through hands-on improvement projects that positively impact the students' environment, internships for two students each summer, and an annual scholarship for a college bound senior, the SolarReserve team is proud to be making a lasting impact in the lives of the students, along with providing role models and student mentoring.


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