2023 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 16-18, 2023 | St.Louis, MO

Jessica Toth

Executive Director

Solana Center for Environmental Innovation


Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is a mission-driven organization directly serving the San Diego region with a vision of landfills free of edible and compostable material and oceans free of plastics, exemplified by Solana Center’s role designing innovative compost cooperatives as well as restricting retail and distribution of single-use disposable plastic serviceware.

Solana Center created a residential food disposal program, which resulted in participants generating less than half the food waste of the average American! Now the organization aims to “package” this magic to empower others so together we can achieve the nation’s food waste prevention goals.

Solana Center and Jessica have received awards for environmental leadership, including most relevantly

  • US Composting Council’s Organics Diversion Program of the Year (2023)
  • San Diego Business Journal’s 50 Over 50 Women of Influence in San Diego (2022)
  • California Resource Recovery Association’s California Organics Diversion (2019)
  • San Diego Food System Alliance’s San Diego EMIES UnWasted Food (2018)
  • San Diego Business Journal’s Top Business Women in San Diego (2017)
  • California Governor’s Environmental & Economic Leadership (2016)

Jessica has held positions in research, marketing, and process improvement at various companies including her own software start-up. She has a master’s degree in business from MIT and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell in Engineering.


Wednesday, May 17th

11:00am - 12:00pm

From Garbage to Gold: Uncovering the Value of Recycling, Composting, and Anaerobic Digestion

Breakout Session (Running Concurrently)

Nearly 70% of surplus food is treated as true “waste,” meaning it is either left in the fields after harvest, incinerated, dumped, deposited in the sewer, sent to landfill, or applied to the land. But much of this could have been used for other purposes — in fact, recycling and composting offer one of the largest opportunities for decreasing the amount of waste in our food system. What can be done to ensure we’re finding the highest and best use for any food or scraps that remain? While there are many sites today in the U.S. that utilize anaerobic digesters, very few are dedicated to processing food scraps. This session will dig up the value of composting and anaerobic digestion, unveil the adoption of these solutions, and bring to the surface the infrastructure gaps that hinder these efforts.

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