Organic Recycling

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Organic Recycling is here! You can now place food waste, food-soiled paper, with your green waste – grass, leaves, and prunings in the Organics Cart. It's the same  material, just being placed a different cart. This change will help reduce the production of greenhouse gasses that cause climate change and reduce waste going to landfills.   

But why? It’s the law, and (mostly because) the City of Elk Grove cares about the planet. Senate Bill 1383 (2016) was passed as law, which requires all of California to separate food waste and food-soiled paper from their garbage that would otherwise go to the landfill.  Learn more about Senate Bill 1383

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What is Organic Waste? 

Organic Waste refers to waste that can go in the Organics Cart including food waste and yard waste. View acceptable and unacceptable items. Below are examples: 

  • Food Waste, Coffee Grounds, Tea Bags 
  • Food-Soiled Paper Products
    • Pizza Boxes, Napkins, Coffee Filters, 
    • Egg and Paper Cartons, To-go Bags and Boxes 
    • (no Styrofoam or Plastic) 
  • Green Waste 
  • Landscape and Pruning, Leaves, Flowers, Sludge 
  • Lumber, Wood

Benefits of Organics Recycling

Organic waste is the largest source of waste in landfills and leads to increased emission of methane and other greenhouse gasses. Proper organic waste recycling is an eco-friendly practice that makes a global and local difference. It has a big impact on the health of the environment and our communities.

reduced pollution

Reduced Pollution

Composting organic waste instead of sending it to landfills will significantly reduce methane emissions, which contribute to climate change.

renewable energy

Renewable Energy

New state-of-the-art facilities in our state are turning organic waste into renewable natural gas used for transportation fuel, electricity and heating appliances.

less landfills

Less Landfills

Organic waste currently makes up half of what Californians dump in landfills. Diverting it to composting facilities will extend the life of landfill and minimize the need for more landfills in the future.

resilient agriculture

Resilient Agriculture

Compost created from organic waste will be applied to crops to enrich our soils and support a resilient food supply.

combat food insecurity

Combat Food Insecurity

Restaurants are required to donate edible food under Senate Bill 1383. Food donations can play a major role in helping distribute resources to families in our community experiencing food insecurity.

Who Needs to Take Action? 

In short: everyone! All residents and businesses in Elk Grove are responsible for recycling organic waste. For more information about the residential organics recycling program, visit our Residential Organics Recycling page. For more information about commercial organics recycling in Elk Grove, visit our Organics Recycling at Your Business page.

How You Can "Erase Food Waste"

Californians waste more than 30 percent of their food by throwing it away. The City of Elk Grove’s Erase Food Waste campaign seeks to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills by encouraging residents to reduce their food waste. 

Learn More

Resources

We're happy to provide a handful of resources available for download and print.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be signed up automatically or do I need to enroll myself?

If you’re a resident, there is no need to sign up for organics recycling - you’re already set! Your current yard waste carts will become your “organic waste carts” and will accept food waste and food soiled paper. Beginning in July 2022, organic waste carts for residents will be collected weekly. Businesses are required to subscribe to organics recycling through their current waste hauler. If you haven’t done so already, please contact your hauler to get your organics recycling service set up! Your hauler will be available to provide technical assistance to get organics recycling started at your business. Staff from the City Recycling and Waste Division are also available to provide technical assistance or answer questions, and can be reached via email at or calling (916) 478-2228.

What happens to the organic waste after it’s collected from residents and businesses?

The organic waste collected from residents is transferred to a local facility for sorting. From there, it is sent for processing to a California composting facility. Business’s organic waste is collected and transferred to an anaerobic digestion facility to produce renewable natural gas for transportation fuel, electricity, or heating appliances, or to a biomass conversion facility to produce electricity.

Can we use the same plastic bin liner we use for trash?

You aren’t required to bag your organic waste. However, if you’d like to, you may use BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) Certified compostable bags or paper bags to dispose of your organic waste. Conventional plastic trash bags are not allowed since they cannot be processed at the organics recycling facilities. BPI Certified compostable bags can be found online or at all major retailers, just look for the Certification!

How often is my organic to be picked up?

The Organic Waste Cart will be collected on a weekly basis alongside your Garbage Cart. Your Recycling Cart will remain bi-weekly.

Contact

Residential Organics Recycling Questions

Recycling and Waste

Email or (916) 478-2228