Organic Food Waste Recycling Delayed in Much of San Diego County

Only a few jurisdictions met the January 1, 2022 deadline

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Thousands of Californians were supposed to start scraping their plates into green bins to be composted beginning this week. However, many jurisdictions weren’t ready to get the trucks and green bins rolling.

Food waste creates methane gas in landfills. Ian Monahan, I Love a Clean San Diego’s spokesman, said, “It’s the most toxic greenhouse gas.”

On Tuesday, EDCO trucks were seen roaming La Mesa picking up the green bins. A City of La Mesa spokeswoman said the city and its sanitation partner have been composting food waste since April of 2021, months before the January 1, 2022 deadline. Monahan said EDCO is also collecting organic waste in Lemon Grove, Escondido, Fallbrook, San Marcos, and Ramona.

The City of San Diego said last month its organic waste recycling program would be delayed until the summer of 2022. A spokesperson sent a statement to NBC 7 saying, “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. Instead, it will be done in phases.”

The City of Chula Vista and its sanitation partner Republic Services was prepared to begin collecting food waste in green bins this week. However, a labor strike delayed delivery of green bins to thousands of customers and delayed regular trash and recyclables service for thousands of households.

A Waste Management spokeswoman said they have organic recycling services available for customers in parts of San Diego, Santee, and Oceanside. She said some customers will need to sign on for organic pick-ups in their jurisdictions.

Tuesday morning, Republic Services and the Teamsters Local 542 met with a federal mediator. There was no update as of Tuesday afternoon.

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