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Walnut Creek Magazine

Composting Becomes Law in California

Feb 02, 2022 09:18PM ● By Ashley Louisiana

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Starting January 1, 2022, all California residents living in single family homes and multifamily communities, as well as businesses, are required to recycle organic waste such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and uncoated food-soiled paper.The goal of Senate Bill 1383 is to reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 75 percent in 2025. 

Why does composting matter? When your organic waste from veggies, coffee grounds, chicken bones, and pizza boxes goes into the trash, it ends up decomposing in the landfill without oxygen. And without oxygen, the decaying organic waste emits methane, contributing to climate change. Currently, over half of the content of California landfills is organics, producing 20 percent of methane emissions.

Benefits of Recycling Organics Compost is a rich, complex mix of trace minerals, fungi,  microbes, and decaying organic matter that feeds plants when added to soil. Compost also helps soil to retain water, reduces the need for irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers. Plants grown in compost reap the benefits of improved soil health.


Backyard Composting: You can compost most organics in a compost bin to enrich your soil. If you live in a single-family home, you'll receive a quarterly discount on your Republic Services bill. (The Soilsaver Backyard Compost Bin is available for the reduced price of $35.) Worm composting is an easy, compact composting method for small spaces.

Green Organics Cart: Place all food scraps, yard trimmings, and uncoated food-soiled paper in your green organics cart. Republic Services will compost the material at a commercial composting facility. If you live in an apartment/condo or own a business, email a request for organics services to [email protected] Townhome Organics Service is being rolled out in February. 

Kitchen Containers: Request a 3-gallon kitchen food scraps container at no cost, once annually, by calling Republic Services at (925) 685-4711. 

For more information about reuse and recycling programs, visit  




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