Get to Know Organics Recycling

Get to Know Organics Recycling
December 20, 2021 Chad

Starting January 1, 2022, California will be rolling out new organic waste recycling programs under SB 1383 (Lara, 2016). Although this may sound brand new to you, organic waste consists of everyday items you are already familiar with. Organic waste includes everyday items like food scraps, lawn and leaf clippings, and soiled paper that decomposes into compost in the right conditions.

Oxygen is a key element that aids the breakdown of organic waste. However, when organic waste is buried and compacted in a landfill, oxygen cannot reach it. As a result, decomposition inside a landfill occurs in an “anaerobic” (without oxygen) environment and creates methane gas Methane gas is a type of greenhouse gas (GHG) that is harmful to our environmental health, air quality and contributes to climate change.  When we divert organic waste from landfills, not only do we prevent methane gas, but also create a valuable soil additive – compost! In our community, Placer Recycles will make sure that your organic waste reaches its highest potential through composting at the WPWMA facility.

Each jurisdiction in Placer County will require its residents to dispose of organic waste per individual local ordinances. Be sure to learn what your home city specifically requires for organic waste collection. However, no matter how organic waste is collected in Western Placer, it will be able to be recycled to its fullest potential at the WPWMA facility. Placer Recycles has you covered! Together, everyone in Placer County can do their part to help protect our environment, reduce GHG levels and learn more about organic waste disposal options.

Types of Organic Waste

 Food Scraps Paper Products Yard Waste
  • Coffee grounds
  • Veggie ends and peelings
  • Fruits
  • Bread
  • Cooked and uncooked pasta
  • Eggshells
  • Meat and fish bones
  • Wasted food
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Uncoated paper cups, plates, napkins, and straws
  • Paper towels and bags
  • Cardboard
  • Pizza boxes
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Leaves
  • Lawn and leaf clippings
  • Hay
  • Straw
  • Wood chips
  • Christmas trees
  • Pumpkins from Halloween

What is the purpose of the new organics recycling regulation, SB 1383 (Lara, 2016)?

  • To reduce the amount of methane created by buried organic waste in landfills.
  • To ensure we meet the statewide goal of reducing organic waste going to landfills by 75%.
  • Help organic waste meet a higher purpose as compost and return this valuable resource back to the soil.
  • Protect our beautiful Placer County quality of life for the future through sustainable solutions now.

How can you compost organic waste?

When organic waste is composted, it can reach a higher purpose. Your eggshells, banana peels, paper towels, and yard trimmings can go on to become food for our soil.

There are several ways to compost in Placer County. First, organic waste can be composted at home and through community groups and gardens. Placer Recycles has tips on composting, reducing, and rethinking organic waste. Or organic waste will be composted at the WPWMA’s facility.

Learn how to compost at home and the benefits it can bring to your garden! Teabags, spoiled foods, paper napkins, dead leaves, and fruit peels can be composted instead of tossed in the trash. Put your unused food to work by using it to grow new ingredients or mulch for landscape. Click here to learn more composting tips!

Other helpful tips:

  • Recycle your seasonal organic waste: Christmas trees and pumpkins are both organic waste and can go live on through composting far past the holidays. Placer County offers FREE Christmas tree recycling, click here to learn more.
  • Remember to reduce your organic waste: Save the napkins you receive when you get fast food for dinner. Mash overripe bananas to create delicious banana bread. Use grilled leftovers on a salad or give them to your pet dog as a treat. Get creative with your leftovers before throwing them out to reduce your organic waste generation.
  • Avoid over buying at the grocery store to prevent wasting food: Before heading to the grocery store, take a quick inventory of everything in your fridge and pantry. This can prevent you from double purchasing what may be hiding behind your cupboard, and you can shop for recipes based on what you already have.