The Elk Grove city staff last week launched the “Erase Food Waste” campaign to encourage people to not waste edible foods and to be mindful of how they store food. Organizers stated that unnecessary food waste can harm the environment by boosting methane and other greenhouse gas emissions in landfills. They said that Californians waste an estimated 30% of their food by discarding it.

Heather Neff, the city’s recycling and waste manager, told the Citizen that the campaign aims to prepare Elk Grove residents for California’s 2022 requirement for cities and counties to divert organic waste such as discarded food away from landfills. The city is working with Republic Services to create a curbside pickup program for organic wastes. Neff said there will likely be green waste bins that will be provided for residents to place their garden and lawn clippings as well as discarded food.

“We wanted to get started on getting the negative impacts of food waste on the minds of residents” she said about the Erase Food Waste campaign. She noted that Elk Grove already has one of Sacramento County’s highest “diversion rates” or the rate of preventing waste from going to landfills. The diverted trash is instead set aside for recycling.

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