SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): San Diego is borrowing $40 million from the state to help build a $77 million green waste recycling plant in Miramar that is expected to serve the entire region’s composting needs. City officials say the new plant, expected to begin operations next year, is needed to handle all the yard trimmings, food scraps and other organic material that must be recycled under a new state law, SB 1383.
The state is mandating that more green waste be recycled to fight climate change. Green waste that hasn’t been composted emits large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the 20-year state loan at an interest rate of about 3.7 percent. It will be repaid with fees trash haulers pay to use the Miramar Landfill, city officials said.
City officials said the state loan has lower interest costs than selling bonds or borrowing from a bank. But the interest rate is roughly double what the city pays on state loans for water and sewer projects. The loan will increase the city’s total payout for the new facility by $18 million, from $77.2 million to $95.3 million. San Diego already operates the region’s largest composting facility, the Miramar Greenery. But instead of expanding that facility, the city will tear it down and replace it with a larger version in a separate part of the landfill.
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