California has a new law that will require organic waste collection, which includes food and yard trimmings. This new legislation went into effect on January 1, 2022, affecting all California businesses and multifamily complexes with four or more units. The new law is a significant development because the state currently only recycles about half (53%) of its organics and composts less than 1%.
What do you need to know about the new California law?
The new law requires all businesses and multifamily complexes in California to subscribe to organic waste collection. Those impacted need a food waste collection bin in the kitchen or compost food scraps using a backyard composter or worm bin. CalRecycle has plenty of information on waste collection, recycling, and composting for residents and businesses.
Is residential organic waste recycling mandatory in California?
The new program rolls out in phases over specific areas of the state. Your neighborhood may not see the change immediately. However, the state can levy fines for those not in compliance beginning in 2024. So, if you’re not currently recycling your organic waste, now is an excellent time to start so that you understand the process once it becomes official in your area.
What is organic waste?
Organic waste is anything that is compostables, including flowers, yard trimmings, like grass and leaves, paper products, and food scraps. Fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, bones, coffee grounds, tea leaves, nuts, meats, baked goods, and dairy items are considered compostable.
What is NOT organic waste?
Plastics, metals, and other non-compostable materials are considered non-organic waste, as well as fats and greasy foods.
How do you collect food waste?
There are a few different ways you can collect organic waste. One is to have a food waste collection bin in your kitchen. Use a small container or even just a bag to store your food scraps until you take them out to the trash.
You can also compost your food scraps using a backyard composter or worm bin. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that if you’re composting at home, you’ll want to avoid including much meat, dairy, or baked goods, due to the odor they cause while decomposing, which can attract unwanted critters.
Why is it important to recycle organic waste?
Organics recycling is important because it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. It also reduces the amount of trash that goes into landfills, taking up valuable space and releasing harmful gases like methane. By composting, businesses and multifamily complexes can also reduce their landfill fees.
What can you use organic waste for?
You can create compost, a valuable soil amendment, using organic waste. Compost helps improve soil structure, water retention, and drainage. It also increases the number of nutrients available in the soil, making it an ideal fertilizer for plants.
What are some fun ways you’ve taught your kids about the importance of recycling? Share your thoughts in our Local Anchor Facebook group.