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California’s higher education system is the largest in the world, with 112 community colleges totaling over 2.5 million students, and growing every year. Orange Coast College, located in Costa Mesa, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles, opened in 1948, and currently offers two-year associate degrees onsite or online, with an annual student body over 20,000. However, 1 in 3 students possess a Bachelor’s Degree because they’ve returned to OCC for continuing or community education.


On September 14, 2017, Orange Coast College opened their $7.5-million recycling facility, expanding their existing one of over 45 years. Los Angeles Times’ Bradley Zint quoted Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, saying the facility is “an economic driver” for the city, in his article detailing the opening of this recycling center. With various funding, after just 16 months of construction, the facility partially runs on solar power from solar panels installed on the center’s administration building, is five times the size of its predecessor, named classrooms after supporters, and opened as part of OCC’s Vision 2020. Learn more:


There are two parts to the Vision 2020 Plans, targeting education and facilities, with the recycling center a part of the Vision 2020 Facilities Master Plan, including a replacement of their 60 year old planetarium and creation of student housing. OCC is attempting to obtain certifications of energy-efficiency, which provide several benefits like cost efficiency, tax breaks, and attracting innovative thinkers into their employment and student body. The recycling facility will also provide thousands of jobs to students and the community over the years. Learn more:


Instead of being a drain on the community, OCC is aiming for sustainable facilities and putting profits back into the community. Facility rentals and swap meets are part of the OCC’s commitment to engage with their community, with increasing diversity, including foreigners. In addition to creating one of America’s largest public nautical programs, Pirate Athletics entertain and connect the people of Costa Mesa and her surrounding cities, and OCC’s new recycling center is certain to be a leader in waste disposal.