New Food Recycling Law Will Only Impact Some People on New Year's Day

New California law will be delayed in many jurisdictions

NBC Universal, Inc.

All the leftover wasted food from your New Year’s Eve party can be scraped into your yard waste container if you live in Chula Vista and already have the green container.

Otherwise, you may have to wait before adhering to a new California law requiring most people to discard excess food and scraps into green waste bins instead of the trash.

California adopted the law in 2016 to decrease the amount of food waste going into landfills where it becomes another problem.

“Decomposes in a landfill, causes methane gas, which is a greenhouse producer. It’s very, very toxic to our atmosphere basically,” said Ian Monahan. “It’s the most toxic greenhouse gas.”

The law has municipalities either recycle the food waste with yard waste into rich, valuable compost or energy similar to natural gas.

Monahan is the Director of Communications for I Love a Clean San Diego. The environmental organization supports the new law.

The City of Chula Vista said it is ready to roll out its program on Jan. 1. The city and Republic Services cut the ribbon on their composting facility in October.

A Republic Services spokeswoman said single family homes already have or should receive a green yard waste bin by Jan. 3. Those customers will be the first to participate in the program. Commercial businesses and multi-family homes like apartment buildings will be added throughout the year. The spokeswoman said residents in smaller homes can contact Republic Services for a kitchen caddie, which can store food waste on a weekly basis.

The City of San Diego’s website said it will begin implementing its program in the summer of 2022. A city spokesperson said, “Implementation of Senate Bill 1383 [the new law] requires significant procedural changes, increases in staffing and significant expenditures of trucks and bins.”

“For city serviced residences, due to the size of the city and the need to deliver green bins to more than 240,000 residences, implementation will not happen all at once,” the spokesperson continued. “Instead, it will be done in phases.”

“Getting mandatory composting going at the scale at which California is planning to is not easy,” explained Monahan.

Contact Us