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Food waste bins | What you need to know before composting starts

The city of Sacramento plans to have its food waste program fully implemented by summer. Waste bins continue to be distributed.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new law starting July 1 will ask locals to put their food waste and food-soiled paper in their yard waste container along with tree trimmings and other yard waste.

These food waste bins were distributed to multifamily properties and to certain apartment complexes starting Jan. 1. However, residential services will start later this year between late June and early July, according to Erin Treadwell, Sacramento Recycling & Solid Waste Division's commercial waste compliance manager. 

"I really do want to urge, don't start putting food waste in now," Treadwell said.
"Although the law is in place and we know that we have a lot of customers who are eager about this, we aren't processing the food waste yet. Stay patient." 

When it comes to residences and apartment complexes that have not implemented this plan yet, there should be one or two waste bins for each apartment complex. These bins are serviced by haulers (i.e. Atlas, Republic,  Waste Management, etc.), and your property manager. Both can be contacted for waste bin requests and questions. 

"What's different about food waste is that it's not a big volume," Treadwell said. "If you think about your recycle bin, you can feel the container get full really fast over a couple of days. Food waste itself is quite small. It's dense and heavy, so apartment complexes will see a small rolling cart that holds about 32 gallons or 64 gallons, nothing like a third dumpster".

Property managers are supposed to supply the waste bin, and in a few months, kitchen countertop waste bins will be provided for free for easy and accessible composting. 

The city of Sacramento is still developing the food waste program. Further details will be released before July 1. 

Visit SacOrganics.org for more information about this program. 

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