Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2021-07-30T11:19:12-07:00

We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked question to help guide our residents through the process ahead.

Click/tap on the plus signs next to each question to expand or hide answers.

What is organic waste?2022-01-06T16:41:08-08:00

Organic waste is any material that is biodegradable and comes from either a plant or an animal. Biodegradable waste is organic material that can be broken into carbon dioxide, methane, or simple organic molecules.

What items are considered organic waste?2022-03-25T15:42:27-07:00

All Food Scraps including: Fruits, vegetables, peels and pits, meat, poultry, fish, seafood and bones, all dairy products, eggs, bread, grain, pasta and nuts, tea bags, coffee grounds

Click here for a helpful guide.

Why are the requirements changing?2022-01-06T16:43:10-08:00

A focus on recycling organic materials is central to California’s efforts to combat climate change. California has been experiencing the effects of a climate crisis: hotter summers, extreme temperatures, an increase in fires, extreme droughts, and rising sea levels that erode our coastlines. Research has taught us that greenhouse gasses released by human activities, such as landfilling food and yard waste, cause climate change. To respond to this climate crisis, California is implementing statewide organic waste recycling and surplus food recovery.

Who do these new requirements apply to?2022-01-06T16:43:26-08:00

Everybody, including you! If you live, work, or own property in the State of California, you will need to take part in these new processes.

How do I participate?2022-01-12T02:34:59-08:00


What are my responsibilities as a resident?

  • Residential customers will have a three cart program consisting of “Trash” (gray bin), “Recyclables” (blue bin), and “Organics” (green bin). All organic materials collected by residents will need to be bagged separately. Each resident will receive a small 2-gallon organics container to collect food scraps; they will need to line it with a two gallon plastic bag, tie it off and place it in the green cart when full.
  • Multi-family housing units that utilize community dumpsters will receive dedicated community organics bins.


What are my responsibilities as a business?

  • Any business with 2-cubic yards of trash per week is required to recycle organics and food waste.
  • Food service businesses must donate edible food to food recovery organizations with others starting in 2024. This will help feed the almost 1 in 4 Californians without enough to eat.
  • California has a goal to redirect 20% of edible food currently thrown away to people in need by 2025.

Self-Haulers (contractors, construction workers, landscapers, etc.)

What are my responsibilities as a self-hauler?

  • Self-haulers will need to ensure all organic compostable materials — such as hedge and tree trimmings, cardboards, wood scraps, etc. — are separated from landfill materials and properly disposed of. A permit will be required to report to the City.
Where will organic waste go?2022-01-06T16:45:51-08:00

As California collects and recycles organic materials, local governments will be required to use the products made from this recycled organic material, such as renewable energy, compost, and mulch. For example, it will be used to curate healthy soil! Compost is a key to healthy soil, and healthy soil is critical to reducing carbon in the air. Organics are readily recyclable into soil amendments like compost, mulch, and liquid fertilizers, as well as biofuel, a renewable natural gas.

Where will recycled organic materials go?2022-01-06T16:46:09-08:00

Recycled organic materials will be put to good use. A lot of recycled organic materials will be donated to food banks, homeless shelters, and other organizations for those who don’t have much to eat. Starting in 2022, food service businesses must donate edible food to food recovery organizations. This will help feed the almost 1 in 4 Californians without enough to eat. California has a 2025 goal to redirect to people in need 20% of edible food currently thrown away.

Am I required to participate? What if I don’t change anything about how I take out my trash?2022-01-06T16:47:39-08:00

Yes! This is a new system similar to how your trash is picked up now. Everyone will need to participate and use the new bins or receptacles provided. The City and Hauler will work together to monitor non-compliance. Fines for violations will be issued by the City.

Certain commercial businesses may qualify for waivers from the mandatory program requirements. Waivers will require verification of eligibility every 5 years and third-party or internal program waivers require quarterly reporting.

What if I don’t have the right resources?2022-01-06T16:48:16-08:00

The City will be providing resources to all residents and businesses. Starting in 2022, all jurisdictions will need to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses and recycle these organic materials using recycling facilities such as:

  • Anaerobic digestion facilities that create biofuel and electricity
  • Composting facilities that make soil amendments
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