Composting, safer school route unite Peninsula Planners
A discussion on composting in San Diego and a review of the Safe Routes to School program comprised the Nov. 21 agenda of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) meeting at Point Loma Library.
PCPB member Eva Schmitt, co-chair of the Environment Committee, introduced the idea of supporting City-wide composting, as she pointed out that 21 percent of methane emissions (a significant climate pollutant) comes from landfills, due to organic matter decaying in those landfills. Schmitt said one gram of methane is the equivalent of 25 grams of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time frame, which is what makes methane such a key environmental concern.
The City is looking to add composting to its existing waste management plan in order to satisfy rules from the State of California Air Resources Board. The rules aim to meet targets set in 2015: a 40 percent reduction in methane and fluorinated gases, and a 50 percent reduction in non-forest black carbon emissions by 2030 — below 2013 levels. The rules went into effect January 2018.
When organic matter decomposes under anaerobic conditions, such as in a landfill, Schmitt explained, it decomposes to about 50 percent carbon dioxide and 50 percent methane. When organic matter composts in aerobic conditions, a small amount of methane is still produced, but emissions are primarily carbon dioxide.
The environmental committee sought PCPB approval for a letter it composed to the City in support of the City offering composting on a commercial, industrial and individual level as part of its waste management strategy.
During discussion, some board members expressed concern that composting would attract vermin, cause health issues, and be too expensive for the City.
Nonetheless, a motion to approve the letter passed 9-1.
The motion included adding to the letter the statistics regarding the amount of methane produced from landfills versus that produced in composting.
PCPB member and Traffic & Transportation subcommittee chair Brad Herrin brought a Safe Routes to Schools letter before the board seeking approval to send it to Kris McFadden, City Transportation & Storm Water Department director; Brian Genovese, Bicycle Program manager; and District 2 City Council member Jennifer Campbell.
The letter asks City staff to meet and collaborate with the Traffic & Transportation subcommittee in implementing these recommendations:
It reads: “The Peninsula Community Planning Board requests the section of Catalina and Famosa Boulevards — from Voltaire Street to Valeta Street — be evaluated for the Safe Routes to School program. The subcommittee has identified seven safety recommendations for this corridor:
1. Implement a bike facility from the Correia Middle School west fence/Famosa exit to Voltaire Street supporting the Safe Routes to School program.
2. Remove lone/single parking space from southbound Famosa (prior to Nimitz on-ramp) to allow for a Class II bike lane and better visibility. Align Famosa’s double yellow lines at Nimitz on-ramp.
3. Add flex posts to the Class IV Cycle Track adjacent Correia Middle School.
4. Apply green-dashed paint markings at the Class IV Cycle Track to Class II interchange.
5. Apply green-dashed paint markings for bike/mobility lanes across all street/drive/on-ramp intersections.
6. Remove parking on the south side of Famosa Boulevard to create a continuous Class II bike lane.
7. Diligent and regular parking enforcement of the newly created diagonal parking places of overly long trucks, trailers and other vehicles dangerously extending into the Famosa Boulevard travel lanes.”
A motion to support the letter passed unanimously and PCPB chair Robert Goldyn (who was unable to attend the meeting) signed the letter the following day on behalf of the board.
— The PCPB does not meet in December. The next meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Point Loma Library, 3701 Voltaire St. pcpb.net