SAN DIEGO - There are some startling numbers when it comes to how much trash we're producing in the county and where it's coming from.
10News and the research group Equinox Center have partnered to look at quality of life issues facing us in the next decades. According to Equinox Center, each person in the county disposes of about 7 1/2 pounds of trash every day -- one pound more than the average Californian.
The tourism industry explains some, but not all of it. So where is that trash coming from? At first blush the answers are startling:
"We found that Del Mar and Coronado had the highest numbers," Ann Tartre of Equinox Center said. Coronado came in at 14 pounds per person every day; Del Mar at a whopping 18 pounds.
So what gives?
For Del Mar, it's trash tossed by visitors to the fairgrounds that skew the average. In Coronado, it is visitors to the Navy base. But there's no skewing the reality across the county that the problem of garbage is growing. At the Miramar landfill, 950,000 tons of trash are buried each year. The landfill is projected to run out of space by 2019.
With other local landfills expected to fill up in the next two decades, the drive to recycle becomes more urgent.
In cities like San Diego and Oceanside established recyling programs turn yard waste into compost. It's programs like that that have helped Oceanside average less than five pounds of trash per person, making it among the lowest in the county. Some say other cities must pay close attention.
"With additional people coming into county, we could see our trash numbers double in the next twenty years," Tartre said.
San Diego city officials say tougher recycling ordinances on construction sites and residences have also begun to make a big difference.
More information about local issues regarding waste, water, energy, and more can be found on the The Equinox Center Web site.