Food Waste Recycling

Food Waste Recycling Program - Residential 

Organic waste, including food waste, is the largest material type that is landfilled in California each year.  When organic materials decompose, methane is released. In 2016, former Governor Brown signed legislation (SB 1383) that targets a reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane.  The law directs the state's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to adopt regulations and requirements to achieve a 75 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2025.  The final regulations stipulate that residential, multifamily, and commercial units must divert organic waste from landfills.

On July 1, 2021, your existing green waste cart became your organics cart.  You are encouraged to recycle your kitchen food scraps with your yard trimmings and other green waste.  Your collection day has not changed.  Simply place your food scraps in your organics cart and place the cart by the curb with your trash and recycling carts on your normal collection day.  An introductory flyer was included in CR&R's July billing.  If you do not currently have a green waste cart, you will be notified by CR&R and a organics cart will be delivered to you in the size that you choose.

Multi-family and other housing units with shared trash and recycling bins will have a new cart or bin located in community trash enclosures to collect food waste.

Tips for Using Your Green Cart

  • Start with yard trimmings such as leaves, grass clippings, and/or newspaper at the bottom of your cart to prevent food scraps from being trapped.
  • Alternate layering of food scraps and yard trimmings to help keep your cart cleaner.
  • Compostable bags are optional and available at online or at local retailers. Non-compostable bags are not acceptable.

Preventing Odors From Your Organics Cart

  • Store your cart in the shade during warm weather.
  • If possible, keep your food scraps in the freezer until collection day.
  • Place a layer of yard materials, or newspaper at the bottom of your cart before adding food scraps.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start placing food waste in the green organics cart?

  • The food waste recycling program began on July 1, 2021.  You may now place food waste into your green cart.

What may I place in the organics cart?

  • Food Scraps including all solid, semi-solid, and liquid food such as fruit vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, tea bags, coffee and coffee filters.
  • Yard trimmings including grass clippings, leaves, flowers, hedge clippings, and weeds. Non-hazardous wood waste includes tree branches, tree trunks, and untreated lumber.
  • NO pet waste, palm fronds, plastic, glass, or metal

How do I collect my food waste?

  • Place a food waste container on your countertop to collect food scraps as you cook or throughout the day. You can buy a food scrap bucket or use a bowl or paper bag. Compostable bags may be used but are not required. Empty your countertop container into your green organics cart as often as you like.

How often will the organics cart be picked up?

  • Your organics cart will be picked up weekly on your regular collection day.

Can pet waste go in the organics cart?

  • No. Pet waste goes in the trash cart.

What if I don’t currently have a green waste cart?

  • CR&R will be delivering 35-gallon green organics carts in fall, 2021. You may request a 65-gallon or 95-gallon depending on your needs.

What else can I do to reduce food waste in the landfill?

  • Shop smart. Plan your meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys.
  • Manage your leftovers. Freeze leftovers or eat for lunch the next day. Once a week create a “use it up” meal from all of your leftovers that are about to go stale or be unusable.
  • Use it all. Use vegetable and meat scraps to make healthy homemade stocks. Soft fruit can be used in smoothies. Or simply freeze food to be used later.
  • First in, first out.  In many cases food gets spoiled because it gets pushed to the back of the refrigerator or pantry shelf. Remember to rotate older foods to the front and use them first.
  • Donate. Give what you don’t or can’t use to your local food pantry or your neighbors.
  • Compost it. Start a compost system at home or give your food waste to a neighbor who has a compost pile.