It might not look like much, but this is the start of a program that will literally save hundreds of tons of organic material from being shipped to the junk yard. Image: Greg Morena

At long last, businesses on the iconic Santa Monica Pier are beginning to have green trash and recycling options as part of the pier’s “Green Pier” initiative outlined in the 2015 “Santa Monica Pier Access and Use Study” authored by the Pier Corporation.

Despite the City of Santa Monica’s reputation as a leader in sustainability, it’s been a protracted process to get organic recycling bins on the pier. The first restaurant to have them is the Albright, an improvement that was earned through years of advocacy from the Albright’s owner, Greg Morena, and the Pier Corporation.

“Santa Monica has been a leader in the adoption of environmentally sound practices, and residents have had three cans for over 20 years. The Pier was one of the places that still needed attention,” writes Abby Arnold*, Chair of the Pier Corporation.

“Greg’s leadership as a business owner made it happen. The Santa Monica Pier, located over our precious beach and ocean, can now demonstrate that businesses can recycle as effectively as residents.”

While the Albright is just one of many restaurants and other tenants that rent space on the pier, this is the first of many bins to be placed on the pier. In the meantime, just the one existing bin will literally help convert hundreds of tons of unused organics.

“This year we will divert and recycle hundreds of thousands of pounds of our waste,” writes Morena in an email to Next. “I’m thrilled that soon the remainder of the shops of the Pier will follow our lead.”
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* Abby Arnold is also a member of the Santa Monica Next Steering Committee and a Board Member of the Southern California Streets Initiative, that publishes Santa Monica Next.