MEET leaf and apple core illustration OLIVIA
ORGANICS

What’s the problem?

Organics in the Landfill

(food scraps, food -soiled paper, and yard trimmings)

Organics food scraps, food-soiled paper, leaves, grass, branches and other yard trimmings makes up over half of what we throw away (source: Calrecycle.ca.gov). Methane, a greenhouse gas, is produced when organic material decays/rots in a landfill.

Olivia helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save valuable landfill space by collecting these and putting them in the Organics cart (previously Green Waste cart) so they can be made into nutrient rich compost.

What can I do?

Collect and place organic material (food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings) in the Organics cart (previously Green Waste cart) starting the week of July 4, 2022.

Step 1

Keep food scraps clean by removing stickers, twist ties, plastic wrap and rubber bands. Plastic, glass, coated paper and metal should never go in the Organics cart.

Step 2

Collect food scraps and food-soiled paper in a bowl, recycled container or kitchen pail.

Step 3

Line with a paper bag or towel, newspaper, or approved compostable bag (BPI Certified or labeled with ASTM D6400).

Step 4

Store in a convenient location (under sink, on the countertop, or in the refrigerator or freezer) for food prep trimmings and scraping your plate.

Step 5

To minimize odors and pests, empty food scraps and food-soiled paper daily into your Organics cart for weekly curbside collection. Rinse or wipe with paper towel after each use.

Organics Cart Items

Includes: dirty paper napkins, used paper towels, dirty/wet paper bags, uncoated used paper plates/cups, coffee grounds/filters, tea bags, greasy pizza boxes.

Includes: grass clippings, leaves, weeds, landscape prunings, small branches.

Items to leave out

Put in Garbage cart instead.

Put in Garbage cart instead.

Put in Garbage cart instead.

Many food and beverage containers and paper plates have thin layers of plastic or metal. Please reuse or put in Garbage cart when no longer useful.

Includes: treated, painted, stained, oiled wood. Put in Garbage cart instead.

Includes: plastic single use shopping bags like grocery bags, plastic zip-top bags, plastic food wrap, plastic food and beverage containers – including Styrofoam™, plastic utensils, and compostable plastics as they will not fully break down at our local compost facilities (approved compostable bags accepted). Drop off plastic bags for recycling — www.bagandfilmrecycling.org — reuse, or put in Garbage cart when no longer useful.

Includes: food and beverage containers. Reuse or put empty and dry — no liquids or food reside — in the Recycling cart.

Includes: aluminum food and beverage containers, foil. Reuse or put empty and dry — no liquids or food reside — in the Recycling cart.

Includes: any liquids. Drain off liquids into sink and then place food scraps in the Organics cart.

the benefits

Separate Organics for Compost versus burying it in the landfill

  • Composting organics produces a beneficial, healthy soil amendment that promotes healthy plant growth and suppression of plant disease.*
  • Compost can also conserve water due to its ability to retain and efficiently transfer water.*
  • Separating organics from your garbage saves valuable landfill space extending the life of a limited resource.

California’s Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) calls on residents and businesses statewide to divert organics from the landfill to make and utilize beneficial compost/mulch and biogas; and extend the life of landfills. Keeping organics out of landfills greatly reduces the greenhouse gas byproduct, methane, which contributes to climate change, and per health and climate experts makes health issues like asthma, and other lung and heart diseases worse. Learn more about the County’s efforts to comply with other aspects of SB 1383.

*Source Compostingcouncil.org

Learn how to get a free kitchen countertop pail!

0rganics Collection Tips

Easy tips for reducing odors and pests at the Organics cart:

  • Drain excess liquid from food scraps
  • Freeze/refrigerate scraps before adding to the Organics cart
  • Add food scraps and food-soiled paper to a paper bag before you put it in the Organics cart
  • Sprinkle the inside of the Organics cart with baking soda
  • Layer yard trimmings, then food scraps and food-soiled paper in your Organics cart
  • If needed, rinse Organics cart in landscaped areas only and avoid releasing gray water in the storm drain systems and neighboring properties.

NOTE: Using your garbage disposal more will affect wastewater treatment plants, can clog sewer lines and increase water usage. Remember, do not put fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain, instead: can it, scrape it. 

faq

Wonder what goes in the Organics cart? We can help!

If you still have questions, please contact us.

Organics (food scraps, food soiled-paper and yard trimmings) collected in the curbside Organics cart is taken to facilities where it is made into compost. Compost is a valuable product used by landscapers, farmers, and gardeners. It increases soil quality, water retention and crop yield, and reduces the need of fertilizers and pesticides.

All food scraps such as fruit, vegetables, bread, cereal, cheese, egg shells, meat (including bones), and coffee grounds. This includes moldy food, left-overs, uneaten food and spoiled food. Food-soiled paper such as used paper towels and paper napkins, dirty uncoated paper plates, dirty paper napkins, greasy pizza boxes, paper coffee filters, tea bags, and soiled paper bags. All yard trimmings such as branches, grass, leaves, tree, and shrub prunings.

Per State law, yes. All food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings must be placed in the Organics cart starting the week of July 4, 2022 and will no longer be accepted in the Garbage cart.

Residents can put their food scraps and food-soiled paper in a brown paper bag, wrap in newspaper, or use a compostable bag (must meet ASTM D6400 standard or BPI Certified (look for “BPI” logo on packaging label) before putting it in the Organics cart for weekly collection. You can also layer food scraps with food-soiled paper, paper bags, newspaper and your yard trimmings to reduce odors in your Organics cart.

Empty your food scraps collection container daily into the Organics cart. Store uneaten leftovers or food scraps in your refrigerator or freezer until it is close to your curbside collection day. Line the bottom of your kitchen container with a paper bag or food-soiled paper.

Yes. Residents can use brown paper bags or newspaper to collect food scraps, or have the option to purchase and use compostable bags to collect their food scraps. Residents can also use brown paper bags or newspaper to collect food scraps. Compostable bags must meet the ASTM D6400 standard or BPI Certified. Look for the “BPI” logo or “ASTM D6400” on the packaging label to ensure it meets this standard. ASTM D6400 is the standard specification to make sure the material used for the bag is compostable at local facilities. https://bpiworld.org/

Download the app!

  • USE THE “HOW DO I GET RID OF…” FEATURE to find recycling and disposal options for household items
  • FIND YOUR SERVICE CALENDAR AND SIGN UP FOR  REMINDERS
  • SCHEDULE A BULKY WASTE PICKUP
  • REPORT MISSED SERVICE
  • FIND YOUR STREET SWEEPING CALENDAR
  • PLAY THE SORT SMART GAME

Contact us!

Have a question about recycling? We’ve got answers! Email us at sacgreenteam@saccounty.gov and we’ll get back to you within three business days.