Californians are being urged to keep as much organic waste out of landfills as possible.
When buried, organics such as food scraps, yard waste and soiled or wet paper products take up valuable landfill space and release methane as they decompose, according to a Santa Barbara County news release. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and major contributor to climate change.
Beginning this month, the county is expanding its organics collection program to include all residents and businesses of the unincorporated Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys. Customers are required to place all of their food scraps and food soiled paper, along with yard waste, in their green containers.
Wet or food-soiled paper includes items like used pizza boxes, coffee filters and wet paper towels. Clean paper and cardboard should still go into the blue recycling bin, according to the county.
Everything in the green container is now processed at a local facility, then used as compost in local agriculture. If you do not have a green container, contact Waste Management at 805-922-2121 to subscribe to organic waste service.
The county will provide free kitchen pails to all residents. Pails are designed as an easy way to collect organic waste at home without needing to run to the green bin after every meal. Kitchen pails will be available later this year and be distributed in a variety of ways to residential customers. Kitchen pails are funded by a grant from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Commercial customers can arrange for a delivery of free 28-quart indoor organics collection containers by calling 805-882-3613.
If you live or work in Buellton, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Solvang and the unincorporated areas of the Cuyama Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and South Coast, your waste is processed at the County Public Works Department’s newly opened ReSource Center.
If you live or work in the cities of Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Lompoc or Santa Maria, your jurisdiction has its own organic recycling program. Visit your city’s website for specific details.
If you compost your organics where you live, don’t stop, the county advises. The county supports these efforts by selling half-priced compost bins at the North County Public Works Office at 620 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria. Visit www.lessismore.org/compost for more compost bin sale locations and resources. For a complete organics overview, visit the county online at www.lessismore.org/organics.