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The original item was published from 4/18/2023 7:49:00 PM to 4/19/2023 8:34:08 AM.

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Posted on: April 12, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Changes coming to food, organic waste collection

Brown bin PR

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 12, 2023) — Changes are coming to food and other organic waste collection in Anaheim as part of a California requirement to reduce and reuse waste that otherwise would go to landfills and add to pollution in our environment.

Anaheim's City Council on Tuesday approved the city's implementation plans for separating food and other organic waste from your main waste or recycling bins.

We expect to start collecting sorted food and organic waste starting on July 1. We plan to roll out the program in phases, with some areas seeing it sooner than others before full citywide implementation in 2024.

The cost of the program has already been built into your waste collection bill. In 2021, $1.92 was added to a typical household bill, followed by $1.96 in 2022.

For 2023, waste collection costs are set to increase by $1.32 for a typical household, not for the organics program but as part of a contractual increase tied to inflation.

What is it?

What is organic waste?

Food is a big part, including uneaten meal portions, overripe fruit or vegetables, bones, cereal, bread, coffee grounds (and filters), tea bags and leaves or that pizza crust, apple core or banana peel.

Paper products used with food are also organic waste, including pizza boxes, paper plates and food bags.

Organic waste also includes yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, weeds, plants, shrubbery and small branches.

 Starting July 1, food and organics will have to be separated and put in your yard waste bin instead of your waste or recycling bins. 

A big change, we know, and one that will take some getting used to.

State mandate

But know this isn't just an Anaheim thing: Our city and others are implementing a 2016 state law that requires cities, counties and others to phase in food and organics recycling, with state penalties of $500 to $10,000 a day for violations for cities.

California's goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing pollutants that add to warming impacts on our climate. Organic waste in landfills emits 20 percent of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

Organic waste, including food scraps, yard trimmings, paper and cardboard, makes up half of what Californians send to landfills.

Diverted organic waste will be turned into either natural gas or compost mulch, a nutrient-rich soil that acts as a natural fertilizer for plants, trees or gardens.

Food waste

Change will start in the kitchen. When tossing out leftovers or other food, separate food waste and put it in your brown yard waste bin instead of your black waste bin.

You can also gather and store food scraps in a newspaper-lined kitchen pail and take it out to your yard waste bin whenever you're ready.

If you have extra freezer space, you can put scraps in a sealable bag and then empty the frozen contents into the yard waste bin on collection day.

Make sure to just put food or other organic waste in your yard waste bin with no bags or other containers.

Apartments, townhomes

Anaheim residents living in apartment, condominium or townhome communities may have their own process. Ask your property manager to better understand how your community will dispose of food and other organic waste. 

While frustrating to many, we know others are eager to get an early start putting food waste in yard bins. But, please, wait until July 1. Full recycling of organic waste from yard bins won't happen before then.

After July 1, Republic Services, our contract waste hauler, will collect and haul organic materials to facilities that produce compost and mulch. Food waste will be sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in the Inland Empire to produce renewable natural gas.

We know some will have concerns about food waste stored outside in bins. But there's really no change — food waste that used to be stored outside in your black waste bin now just gets stored in your brown yard waste bin.

If you're concerned about any food waste being stored outside, consider keeping inside until collection day or try the freezer tip where space allows.

In the meantime, head to Anaheim.net/organics for more.

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