This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

The city of San Diego could help the environment, increase waste recycling and make money by establishing a hog farm at the Miramar landfill.

Everything that is needed to recycle food waste by feeding it to hogs is already there. The city has an established commercial food recycling program that collects food waste to be mulched at the Miramar Greenery, waste that could be diverted to the farm. The landfill has large tracts of land that are already filled with trash and capped, that can’t be used for anything else. There would be room to set up a heat treatment facility to reduce the risk of disease by processing the food waste before it is fed to the hogs. Because it’s a landfill, provisions have already been made to control for odors and run-off. There would be options for treating manure; such as mulching, or processing at the onsite Metro Biosolid Center.

Raising hogs is better for the environment than raising cattle; they need less than half the feed to produce a pound of meat. If they eat garbage, it will take even less energy to feed them. Food waste is already being trucked to the landfill, so it would take no extra energy to truck it to the farm instead. Producing food close to where it will be consumed also reduces transportation costs.

Feeding food waste to hogs gives the city of San Diego another way of recycling and keeping garbage out of the landfill, and another way of making money. A hundred years ago city contractors profited from selling garbage to hog farmers. Leasing land and selling garbage to farmers could be a source of income once again, but this time for the city of San Diego.

Sharon Gehl submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

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