This summer, households across the Sacramento region will need to make changes in their food disposal habits—but not before July 1, 2022.
After July 1, residents in the City of Sacramento must dispose of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste together in the organic waste container (currently the yard/green waste container). Organic waste will be collected weekly for all customers on the same day as garbage collection.
The City is making this change in organics recycling in accordance with a new climate action law — California Senate Bill 1383. Residents may have heard different terms such as collection of food waste, composting or recycling organics. It all refers to the same thing: Californians must keep food scraps and yard waste out of the landfill in 2022.
Organic waste includes food waste—such as fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, meat, and bones—and food-soiled paper, including pizza boxes, coffee filters and paper napkins.
The organic waste will be processed into nutrient-rich compost and then sold to agricultural users. In the future, some of the compost may be made available to City residents at giveaways and other events.
California Senate Bill 1383 is a state mandate which requires the recycling of organic matter to reduce short-lived climate pollutants in landfills. Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps each year, accounting for 15%-20% of all landfilled material.
“We know many of our customers are eager to have this program start, but it’s important to wait until July 1 before adding food waste to your yard/green waste containers,” says Erin Treadwell, integrated waste compliance manager for the Recycling and Solid Waste Division. “We will be using different processing for the combined organics starting July. Until then, our processors can only take yard waste, and we want to avoid contamination.”
The Recycling and Solid Waste Division will be providing extensive outreach in May and June to help residential customers learn about the new organics recycling program. This program will keep the City compliant with State law as well as help the City meet its sustainability goals.
Many commercial properties, which include businesses and multi-family dwellings, have already begun to participate in organics recycling. These properties are not serviced by the City, but by private hauling companies. Residents who live in apartments should receive information from the owners or property managers about organics service at their building.
About 10% of the City’s solid waste customers do not currently have yard/green waste services. Information about how these customers will participate in the mandated organics recycling program will be sent to property owners in early May.
More information on the new recycling program can be found at SacOrganics.org.