As of 2022, California law requires residents and businesses to place compostable and recyclable materials in the appropriate carts and bins. State regulations also require Napa city and county’s recycling agencies to periodically inspect or “audit” those carts. It’s called Flip the Lid. When it comes to recycling, “most people want to do the right thing,” said Naama Brenner–Abramovitch, a recycling specialist with Napa Recycling. They just don’t know exactly what goes where. That’s where Flip the Lid can help.

Last year about 150 Napa homes were “inspected” via the Flip the Lid program. This year, staffers from Napa Recycling mean to visit another 150. Neighborhoods are chosen based on a rotating schedule, using a representative sample. Businesses are audited every year.

Each “inspection” starts at about 4:30 a.m. on the assigned waste and trash collection day in a selected neighborhood. Walking along the street, Napa Recycling staffers will peek inside gray landfill, blue recycling, and green or brown compost carts and bins to see whether customers are placing the correct kinds of waste inside. If there’s a misplaced item, staffers will tape educational information on the bin for the resident.

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Author: Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register

Image: Nick Otto, Napa Valley Register