Public Works
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Organic Waste Management

Organic Waste Collection Service

Organic Waste Collection Service is coming soon to the County unincorporated communities!
On November 16, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance. The Ordinance ensures everyone does their part in diverting organic waste and edible food from landfills to reduce emissions of methane and the impacts on climate change. The Ordinance is also required per State Senate Bill 1383 regulations.

The Ordinance requires all businesses and residents in the County unincorporated communities to subscribe to organic waste collection services. Self-hauling is also allowed under certain circumstances.

What Is Organic Waste?

Organic waste is material that comes from living organisms such as, but not limited to, food, food scraps, food soiled paper, paper products, yard or green waste, wood, manure, and organic textiles like cotton.

Why Is Diverting Organic Waste Important?

When organic waste is buried in a landfill and decomposes, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas that pollutes the air and contributes to climate change. Landfills are unable to capture all of the methane which means some of the methane goes into the atmosphere. Climate change can look like extreme changes to weather such as more frequent and intense heat waves, large storms, drought, more frequent or larger wildfires, and insect outbreaks. When we collect organic waste separately from trash, we can keep it out of the landfill and process it to create useful products such as compost or renewable electricity and transportation fuel without releasing methane into the air.

Organic Waste Collection: A Statewide Effort!

In September 2016, former Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 1383, which established Statewide targets to reduce landfill disposal of organic waste by 50% by year 2020 and by 75% by year 2025, and recover edible food for donation that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The law also required the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the State authority for solid waste, to develop regulations to enforce upon everyone (all residents and businesses) to subscribe to organic waste collection services with their waste hauler by January 1, 2022.

What Do You Need To Do To Comply?

With the new organic waste collection service, most residents will continue utilizing their current containers for trash, recyclables, and green waste but place food waste in with their yard or green waste container. Most businesses will need to separate their food waste and utilize a new food waste container. Your waste hauler will provide specific information on how to separate waste into correct containers to ensure proper processing of organic waste and reduce contamination.

You may self-haul your organics to an acceptable site such as a community compost center. If you self-manage any part of your organic waste, such as through self-hauling, backyard composting or back-hauling, you will be required to register and submit information to Los Angeles County Public Works to ensure compliance. More details coming soon and will be in the Ordinance Guidelines. You can also take steps to reduce the amount of food waste you generate by buying only what you need, storing food adequately, or donating surplus edible food.

What Is Edible Food Recovery?

Excess edible food is food that is safe to consume but often discarded because there is a surplus of it. Many businesses that sell edible food have leftover surplus edible food that can be recovered to donate to hungry people in need rather than letting that food become waste. If you are a large food service provider, such as a large restaurant or grocery store, per SB 1383 and the County’s Ordinance you are required to enter into a written agreement with a food recovery service that can recover your excess edible food. Los Angeles County Public Works will reach out directly and assist food service providers that must comply with the edible food recovery requirement. Additionally, Public Works is creating a database and map of all edible food recovery agencies in the County to assist cities and businesses Countywide find an agency nearest them. Visit FoodDROPLA.com for more information.

Organic Waste Management Workshops

During the summer of 2021, Los Angeles County Public Work held workshops to notify the public about the upcoming organic waste collection service and the Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance. Workshop recordings and presentations may be viewed through the links below:

Additional workshops on organic waste management will be held as services are rolled-out, please check this website periodically for the latest information.

Please complete our Survey to help us improve our education and outreach efforts.

Questions?

For specific information about how organic waste is being managed in your community, contact your waste hauler. If you live in an unincorporated area, you may also call Los Angeles County Public Works staff at (888) 253-2652 from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. We also encourage you to check back to this website for additional updates.

*ADA and Title VI Accommodations: Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations, interpretation services, and materials in other languages or in an alternate format may contact Los Angeles County Public Works at (626) 458-5100. Requests will be processed within 7 days. Individuals with hearing or speech impairment may use California Relay Service 711.

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