Public Works
pw.lacounty.gov

Organic Waste Management

Organic Waste Collection Service

Organic Waste Collection Service is coming soon to the County unincorporated communities!
Learn more about the service including the upcoming draft Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance in the 30 minute recorded workshop below: Additional workshops on organic waste management will be held as services are rolled-out, please check this website periodically for the latest information.

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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 Is The County's Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance?

In order to ensure everyone does their part in diverting organic waste from landfills to reduce our impact on climate change, SB 1383 requires every jurisdiction in the State including the County to adopt an ordinance to ensure and enforce all persons (residents, and business/property owners) in the County unincorporated communities subscribe to organic waste collection services with their waste hauler by January 1, 2022.

What Do You Need To Do To Comply?

Your waste hauler will provide specific information on how they will collect the organic material and may require you to separate your organic waste such as food waste, food-soiled paper, and yard waste from your trash and place it into a container specifically labeled for organics. Some waste haulers may simply have you put food waste into the green organics/yard waste bin. You may self-manage your organic waste on-site such as backyard composting, or self-haul your organics to an acceptable site such as a community compost center.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?

Many businesses that sell edible food, such as grocery stores and restaurants, have leftover surplus edible food that can be recovered to donate to hungry people in need rather than letting that food become waste. SB 1383 and the County’s Ordinance requires large edible food generating businesses to partner with edible food recovery agencies to donate all of their surplus edible food. Los Angeles County 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.

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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