SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The city of Sacramento is requiring people to start recycling all compost into green waste bins starting Friday, July 1.
In compliance with the state law SB 1383, which aims to reduce short-lived climate pollutants from the California landfill, it will be a mandated responsibility for all Sacramento residents.
The law was initiated by former California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016 with the goal to reduce organic waste disposal by at least 75% by 2025.
According to Jesa Davis, the media and communications specialist with Sacramento City's Recycling & Solid Waste Division, about half of what Californians throw away is organic waste like food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings. All of it can be recycled.
“Currently, we collect yard waste from our customers yard in green waste, and that gets turned into a kind of a landscape cover, which is used for local agricultural purposes,” said Davis. “But when we start mixing in our food scraps tomorrow, we will turn all those materials into a really nutrient dense compost.”
Organic waste emits at least 20% of California’s methane, a greenhouse gas 84x more toxic to the environment than carbon dioxide, according to a report by CalRecycle. Over time, proper disposal of organic waste can help reduce methane emissions.
Residents are expected to use green waste containers for composing and will be provided one by the city if they don't already have one.
In addition to yard waste -- like branches, grass and tree leaves -- any food scraps or food-soiled materials will be composted as well.
“Fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, even meat and bones... fish bones, dairy, any leftover food, bread, grains, pasta, anything like that can all go into the organic waste bin,” Davis said.
Items that are not considered organic compost can continue to go into the trash or recycling, including plastic or other hard recyclables.
“No recyclable metals or plastics or glass. All those still go in the mixed recyclables in the blue container,” Davis said. “No pet waste, no Styrofoam, no cat litter.”
If there are any concerns with odor, Davis said she recommends layering yard compost with food scraps to mask the smell or keeping a sealed composting bin under the kitchen sink.
Organic compost and green waste will be collected weekly on the same day as garbage is collected.
Watch more from ABC10: Yes, Sacramento residents will be asked to start composting in 2022