ABOUT TRANSFORMATION OF TRASH, LIFESTYLES AND COMMUNITIES
and how one city's Sustainability Officer is navigating through it.
Meet Clem Brown - The Person And The Professional
Clem’s studies in Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Public Administration, and International Sustainable Development reflect his passion for the environment. As Del Mar’s “Sustainability Manager”, he is fulfilling his goal of working for local government to make a tangible positive change. Clem explained how he is worried what the world will look like for his two little girls, and he wants to leave it better than how he found it.
Clem and his family see composting as an important part of their lives. As residents of Encinitas, Clem and his family used to make the trek to the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation to drop off their food scraps for composting by paying a small fee. Now his family puts their food waste into their green waste cart as part of Encinitas’ new organics recycling program. Currently, Del Mar does not have similar options for food scrap composting. The City is a small bedroom community, and space is at a premium. Therefore, when Food2Soil reached out to Clem about offering their services in Del Mar, he was familiar with the concept and enthusiastic about the idea.
Why Community Composting and Food2Soil Caught Clem’s Attention
So Close To A Solution
Not willing to accept “no” as an answer, Clem was determined to find a work-around while adhering to these regulations. He closely read Del Mar’s municipal code, checked with the city’s planning department, discussed the details with the city’s code enforcement officer, and really tried to find a way forward.
At one point, it looked like the most viable option would be to locate a dropoff hub at the City’s Civic Center during the weekly Del Mar Farmers Market. This seemed like a feasible location because the Farmers Market was not located on a residential property, and allowing residents to self-haul their own food waste to the Farmers Market would not violate the city’s franchise agreement. Furthermore, the Civic Center was centrally located in the middle of town to allow everyone to easily dropoff their food scraps. Leslie Robson, who is on the board of directors of the Del Mar Farmers Market, was excited at the idea. Leslie is an avid composter and a longtime supporter of Food2Soil.
Clem and Leslie identified possible spaces to locate the dropoff hub in collaboration with the Del Mar Farmers Market. However, this also ran into yet another unexpected obstacle. As noted above, the Del Mar Farmers Market is held weekly on city property at the Civic Center. Under current policy, the Civic Center cannot be used for the benefit of a private business. While it would be okay to have a dropoff site at the Farmers Market during market hours (Saturdays from 1-4pm) it would be against the city’s current policy to create a permanent dropoff hub allowing residents to bring their food scraps to the Civic Center when the Farmers Market is not in operation.
Food2Soil Composting Collective was started in 2015 by Inika Small Earth, Inc as a community supported social enterprise. Inika Small Earth is a 501c(3) tax exempt corporation that works on fostering a circular economy that is enterprise-driven, people-powered and community-centered.