Inside San Diego

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City of San Diego to Begin Phased Rollout of Organic Waste Recycling Program

City of San Diego residents will soon be able to make a significant impact on climate change by diverting their organic waste from the landfill.

As part of the City’s new Organic Waste Recycling program, and in compliance with state requirements, new green bins and kitchen pails will be delivered to City-serviced residents, with households in the 92102 and 92113 zip codes receiving their bins first. The phased rollout will continue with about 15,000 bins delivered each week over the course of the next several months.

The Organic Waste Recycling program – which represents the biggest change to trash and recycling in San Diego’s history – will comply with Senate Bill (SB) 1383, which requires residents and businesses to reduce the disposal of organic waste (food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings) by 75% by 2025. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane, a harmful gas that traps the sun’s heat and contributes to climate change.  

The City will collect organic waste from green bins at the customer’s normal trash collection location weekly and take it to the Miramar Greenery, where it will be broken down into compost, which is available free to residents. 

“We are so proud and excited to bring this game-changing service to San Diegans,” said Environmental Services Department Director Renee Robertson. “Recycling organic waste is the single easiest and fastest thing an individual can do to fight climate change.”  

While the rollout begins in January, it will take until mid-2023 to complete, and the City asks that residents wait until they have received their kitchen pail before they begin collecting food scraps. 

“Delivering nearly 270,000 bins is a monumental task that we are taking very seriously,” said Robertson. “City employees are working diligently and carefully to make this an easy transition for everyone.” 

For delivery schedule, a list of what can go in the green bin and more information, residents are encouraged to visit sandiego.gov/OrganicWasteRecycling.

Jan. 9, 2023