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You Can Put Your Food Scraps in the Green Bin

Organics Recycling

How to Compost in the Green Bin - Waste Management Explains 
Published July 29, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

As of 2022, waste collection agencies across California are required to collect food waste — which accounts for 30 percent of all solid waste — to turn it into compost. Waste Management, which provides trash services to the Santa Monica Mountains, explains what to do at home in a handy graphic. 

What can go in, besides yard waste? 

- Produce scraps and pulp
- Egg shells and dairy products
- Meat
- Tea and coffee grounds and filters
- Bread and other grains
- Soiled napkins, paper towels, parchment paper, paper plates

NOTE: Your food scraps can be left in plastic or paper bags inside the green bin. 

What NOT to include in your green bin:

- Loose plastic bags (not used to hold scraps)
- Utensils
- Plastic and foam containers
- Hazardous waste

NOTE: At this time, compostable bags to collect food scraps are not accepted in the green bin. Any paper waste included with food scraps must be heavily soiled.

What does Waste Management do with all those scraps? 

In addition to creating compost and soil amendment, Waste Management has a CORe® program that converts food into an "organic slurry that generates green energy at four locations in North America."

The history and statistics of food waste:

Food takes up more space in U.S. landfills than anything else. In the U.S., we discard about 80 billion pounds of food waste per year. That equates to about 220 pounds of food waste per person. The amount of food we waste equates to about 30-40% of the entire food supply! Approximately 80% of Americans throw away perfectly good food because they are confused about expiration labels.

Food scraps add to the growing waste generated in landfills. This is a problem because food waste that ends up in landfills contributes to climate change. Not only is wasted food a waste of the water and energy it took to produce that food, but food that sits in a landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. This is because, in landfills, there’s no air and no natural way for the food to decompose. Wasting food contributes to 11% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. ---Ecologicprograms.org

In September 2016, former California Governor Brown signed SB 1383, which established statewide targets to reduce landfill disposal of organic waste by 50% by the year 2020, and by 75% by year 2025, and recover edible food for donation that would otherwise be sent to landfills. Your waste provider, Waste Management, is now offering a food waste recycling program for our area. You may have already received information in the mail about this program and related costs.

If you need more information, you can call WM customer service at (800) 675-1171. You can also get information at: home.wm.com/chatsworth-smm.

A local alternative to putting your food scraps in the green bin: 

Full Circle Compost offers free compost drop-off at three convenient locations in Topanga: Viewridge, the Topanga Courtyard, and outside Topanga Lumber. 

Register to compost with Full Circle, and help regenerate land in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

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