By Madisen Keavy

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Coffee grounds, eggshells, and moldy pomegranates won’t go in Sacramento trashcans for much longer, due to a mandatory residential food waste recycling program set to start in 2022.

The law will have Californians putting organics and edible waste in their yard waste or green bin as an effort to get it out of landfills and fight short-lived climate pollutants.

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Exactly when the law kicks in depends on where you live. In the City of Sacramento, for example, the program is set to start sometime in the summer of 2022. It will follow a months-long campaign geared towards education ahead of implementation.

Rachel Wagoner is the Director of CalRecycle. She said the law may take some getting used to, but in the long run, the impacts will far exceed the adjustments.

“Organic waste in landfills creates methane, which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” said Wagoner. 

“Our plan is to have the food waste that you normally put in your garbage container, you’d put in your green waste container,” said Erin Treadwell, Integrative Waste Compliance Manager with the City of Sacramento. 

Treadwell said the program won’t start until education is available, which is set to start in early 2022. She said the City of Sacramento is finalizing the details on the back-end that include processing the organics once they are put in the green bins. 

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“Wait until you hear from the city or county that you live in about what they want you to do with the organic waste.”

Community Compost Hubs

Recycling organics is already underway in some Sacramento-area homesteads and farms like Find Out Farms in Sacramento County. Matthew Ampersand is the man behind the fresh produce and community compost drop-offs.

“Our resources are valuable and we should keep them here in Sacramento,” said Ampersand.

The farm accepts food scraps every Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in South Oak Park. Then, those scraps are used to create the compost that Ampersand uses to improve soil health and grow the majority of the fresh fruits and vegetables in the garden.

He adds to the home-grown compost bucket in the yard and explains how he recycles organics, the same kinds Californians will be required to throw out in their green bins next year.

“It has our coffee grounds in there, paper filter…that’s fine to go in there, some old eggplant, moldy pomegranate, lemongrass and some old rice, ends of cabbage there, and all of these are gonna go into our compost system,” said Ampersand. 

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He said he is glad there will be widespread organic recycling. He hopes that the community uses this as an opportunity to educate on the power of compost and what the resources can do for local farmers.