Residential Food Waste Services
Starting Jan. 3, 2022, Harrison Industries will begin to roll out a residential food waste recycling program in compliance with California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383). SB 1383 requires communities to reduce organic waste disposal, including food waste, by 75% of 2014 levels, by 2025. Existing yard waste carts will be used to collect bagged food waste. Your collection day will not change and there will be no increase in price for service.
Please do not place food waste directly into the yard waste cart, as this will contaminate the yard waste. All food waste should be bagged. Please use your own plastic bags, and be sure to tie them. Clear bags are preferred (though not required). Reusing what you have is best, but bags are available at local retailers and online sales outlets. To minimize the number of food waste bags you use, gather food waste throughout the week in a single bag or a lined pail in the kitchen or in a container outside. Securely tie the bag and place it in your yard waste cart for weekly pickup.
All food waste can be collected in the program. This includes, but is not limited to, meat, bones, fish, shells, dairy, bread, fruits, vegetables, peels, pits, cobs, and coffee grounds.
Residents of the City of Ventura: The City of Ventura is offering a complimentary food waste collection pail to assist Ventura residents with participating in the new food waste recycling program. You can find more information by clicking here.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the New Program
Collect Your Food Waste
- Keep a small bowl for food prep trimmings and for scraping your plate.
- Bag and tie off your food waste.
Clean Your Food Waste
- Remove stickers, twist ties, and rubber bands.
- No plastic, glass, or metal (except for the plastic bag containing the food waste.)
Store Your Food Waste
- On the counter
- Under the sink
- In the fridge or freezer, especially for meat and fish or during hot weather.
Dispose Your Food Waste
- Place your tied bag or bags of food waste in the yard waste cart each week for pickup.
What goes in the yard waste container?
Not Accepted Items
Residential Food Waste FAQ
What laws require food waste recycling?
SB 1383 is a state law aimed at reducing the amount of organic waste, including food waste, sent to landfills by 75% of 2014 levels and to recover 20% of edible food statewide that would otherwise be sent to landfills. SB 1383 requires all businesses, multi-family properties, and residents to subscribe to organic waste collection services. The regulations become effective Jan. 1, 2022.
What is food waste?
Food waste includes meat, bones, poultry, seafood, shells, dairy, eggs, pasta, grains, coffee grounds, fruits, vegetables, and other inedible and edible parts of food.
What is organic waste?
When referring to SB 1383 requirements, organic waste include yard waste, food waste, and plant fibers such as paper and cardboard. All of these materials are currently recycled across the County in some capacity. Single-family homes have curbside yard waste collection service; AND existing state law, Assembly Bill 1826, requires large food-generating businesses such as restaurants and hotels and others to recycle food and yard waste. Paper and cardboard are also recycled citywide in curbside and commercial recycling programs.
One thing to note: In the recycling business, the term “organic waste” or “organics” has a meaning different from the term “organic” in farming. In farming, an “organic” product is one grown without chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
How do I separate my food waste?
You can collect your food waste in a small container (pail with a lid or Tupperware) in your kitchen and store it on your countertop or under your sink. You can line your food waste container with a plastic bag, which can be tied off and placed in your yard waste container. You can also store your food waste in a bag in your freezer, which can help avoid odors for certain foods that are not meant to be left at room temperature.
Bagged food waste needs to be tied off and placed into the yard waste container.
Can I place my food waste directly in my yard waste container without bagging it?
NO. All food waste must be bagged and tied before being placed in the yard waste container. Food waste that is placed directly into the yard waste cart will contaminate the yard waste cart.
After collection, the bagged food waste will be separated at Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, and sent for processing at local facilities. Material sent to these facilities must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into organic fertilizer or renewable energy. Due to the need for clean organic material, commingled organic material (yard waste and food waste together) will not be accepted at this time.
Isn’t using plastic bags counterproductive?
The decision to bag food waste at this time was not made without considerable debate and was selected based on lower cost of service and reduced environmental footprint. While the use of bags seems counterintuitive, one of the alternative approaches is adding a fourth cart dedicated to food waste only. A fourth cart would need a fourth truck route and additional drivers. This would mean additional emissions from the extra truck on the road and additional costs of service.
The bagged food waste material will be placed into the existing yard waste container, separated at Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, and sent for processing at local facilities. Material sent to these facilities must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into organic fertilizer or renewable energy. Due to the need for clean organic material, commingled organic material (which is when yard waste and food waste are mixed together) will not be accepted at this local facility.
Ultimately, we’re looking to develop a program where food waste and yard waste can be commingled with soiled paper and other bio-based materials. Harrison is preparing to open a state-of-the-art facility known as the Limoneira facility (currently in the permitting stages) that will be able to accept commingled material. When the Limoneira organics processing facility is complete, we will be able to improve our program and eliminate the need for bagging food waste.
Do the bags have to be made of plastic?
Harrison Industries, and its processing facility, Mountainview in Oxnard, both require the use of plastic bags to separate food waste, which need to be tied off and placed in the yard waste containers. Paper bags are not allowed, as food waste will leak through the paper bag and contaminate the yard waste. At Mountainview, the food waste bags will be opened to remove the food waste, and the empty bags will be landfilled. Mountainview does not have the ability to process bags that are labeled “compostable” and all empty food waste bags, even compostable bags, will be landfilled.
The best option is to reuse any plastic bags that you already have, such as plastic bread bags, food packaging bags or plastic grocery bags, to collect your food waste.
While the use of plastic may seem counterintuitive, this program complies with SB 1383, reduces the amount of organic material that is sent to the landfill, and reduces our methane emissions with the lowest impact on cost and space constraints for residents.
In the future, we would like to move toward a circular program without plastic, where food waste and green waste can be commingled with soiled paper and other bio-based materials. When the Limoneira organics processing facility is complete, we will be able to improve our program and eliminate the need for bagging food waste.
What happens to the bag of food waste after it's collected?
Once placed into the existing yard waste container, the bagged food waste material will be separated at Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station and sent for processing at the new Mountainview facility in Oxnard. Material sent to Mountainview must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into organic fertilizer or renewable energy.
Can I add compostable materials, like compostable plates, cups, utensils and napkins, to my yard waste bin?
NO. Currently, our local processing facility, Mountainview in Oxnard, does not accept compostable foodware, such as compostable plates, cups, utensils or napkins. If these items are added to the bagged food waste or loose yard waste material, they will contaminate the material. While these items might be labeled “compostable,” they should be disposed of in the landfill.
When the Limoneira organics processing facility is complete, we will be able to improve our program to include compostable foodware and other bio-based materials. We will publicize these changes as they happen.
Will separating food waste cause odor or pests?
Separating your food waste should not cause odor or attract pests any more than putting food scraps in your trash. The same materials are being collected, just in a different container.