Jackie Thompson


Although California’s mandatory residential food waste recycling program came into effect in January, San Diego residents still haven’t been provided with the necessary recycling bins. Now, the City of San Diego is aiming to instead launch this recycling program in January next year. California’s organics recycling law (SB 1383) aims to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and reduce organic waste in landfills by 75% by 2025. Cities that still aren’t collecting food waste by 2024 will be penalized by the state.

Funding Needed for the Program

Local governments simply don’t have the funding needed to adequately cover the organics recycling program. In fact, cities have increased waste collection rates by as much as 25% to cover the cost of equipment, as well as the extra workers needed to fully implement the program. As such, the League of California Cities, a leading advocate for local cities, is urging the state to include $180 million in the state budget specifically for organic waste recycling. Even without a working food waste recycling program, efficient kitchen trash organization is essential for maintaining a clean, hygienic, and orderly home. Of course, over time, it’s only natural for trash cans and food caddies to get a little grubby, which means it’s important to clean them regularly. Professional home cleaning services will usually clean regular indoor trash cans, in addition to making the rest of the home look as good as new. Professional cleaners can provide a thorough and deep clean, so homeowners are freed up to spend their time however they choose.

An Expensive Undertaking

Although cities like Chula Vista have implemented the waste recycling program and provided residents with green bins and kitchen caddies, they had to increase waste collection fees by around $3 monthly per household for the smallest (32-gallon) trash carts, and by $1 for the two larger carts. Republic Services, a private waste disposal company responsible for the city’s waste collection, also purchased the extra necessary equipment to successfully facilitate the program. Conversely, in San Diego, the city provides trash collection services for most homes under the 1919 People’s Ordinance law. As such, the city pays between $43 million to $72 million every year for trash pickup services, and they’ll also be expected to cover the costs of the new program (which includes purchasing organic waste bins and food waste kitchen pails for all homes, as well as weekly yard waste and organics collection services). A November ballot measure may, however, repeal the People’s Ordinance and put an end to free trash pickups.

Gearing Up to Launch the Program

San Diego intends to construct an epic new organics recycling facility at the Miramar landfill, costing $50 million, to help facilitate the program in addition to the smaller compositing site. Last year, the city also purchased 43 extra waste collection trucks for $51 million, and intends to order another 55. Additionally, the city has signed a separate contract to provide San Diego residents with kitchen pails, as well as curbside waste carts.

If all goes to plan, the state’s organics recycling program will roll out next year. Updates on its status will be provided to the council’s Environment Committee in October, according to city staff.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash