Terranea Blog

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Terranea's Green Team Field Trip

Written by Lauren Bergloff, Sustainability Leader & Naturalist, and Cathy Nguyen, Sustainability & Engineering Assistant

On Wednesday, January 18, Cathy and I visited the Olinda Alpha Landfill in Brea. When we arrived, we were introduced to the landfill through a brief presentation conducted by a civil engineer named Nan Natanom-Harrold. It was fascinating to learn about the power plant that converts landfill gas emissions into energy in order to generate electricity for over 22,000 homes in the area. Like Terranea, the landfill has a falconer onsite to keep seagulls away!

We all hopped in a large white SUV, and Nan took us to an area with lots of dirt and soil. The ride was slightly bumpy, and we later learned we were driving on a pile of trash that was flattened by a dozer and currently in the process of being covered by five feet of dirt. Over time, shrubs and grass start to grow, which conceals the dreariness of trash. As Nan drove us around, she told us that there are over 400 acres of land allotted for waste. If residents continue to dispose at an average rate of 6,800 tons of waste per day, the landfill will be closed by the year 2030, which requires the development of another area.

Visiting the landfill was a valuable experience that changed our lives. We are more conscious of resources before we use them, and purchase products that are more sustainably produced.

If you are interested in a free tour at the Olinda Alpha Landfill, you can sign up here.

Terranea does its part of reducing waste sent to the landfill by using the Enviropure biodigester. Our organic waste is collected in green bins, sent through a system that breaks it up, and makes gray water. The gray water is then used in our cooling system.

The next stop on our journey was the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. Our tour was led by the lively, Kristi Fera, who is the Community Relations Manager. The MMCC receives marine mammals collected from south of Malibu to Orange County, nurses them back to health, and then releases them into the wild. Terranea and MMCC have worked together in the past and have released marine mammals at our very own beach cove! While on my hiking and tidepooling tours, I have called the Marine Animal Rescue to come save several different marine mammals. It makes me feel lucky that we have a place so close to our resort that these sick animals can go to receive the help they need. The MMCC will be in attendance at our World Oceans Day celebration on Saturday, June 10, with new activities that they whole family can enjoy.

The final stop on our trip was the International Bird Rescue located next door to the MMCC in San Pedro. International Bird Rescue is primarily a facility that responds to oil spills. In the meantime, IBR houses and rehabilitates all kinds of aquatic birds. I was able to rescue a cormorant with an adventurous family while on a tidepool tour last year at Sacred Cove. The cormorant had a fishing hook in his beak and looked to be in a lot of pain. We brought the bird to IBR and they were able to nurse it back to health. Julie Skoglund, the Operations Manager, was our tour guide and showed us behind the scenes. We were able to see white pelicans, brown pelicans, cormorants, grebes, and much more. We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares so much about the world around us! As the Green Team, we will continue to make visits to local organizations and form relationships that benefit both the environment and the community.

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