Include the Food! Residential Food Composting Program Launches

Food scraps typically make up over 25 percent of what households throw away, but now Napa city and county residents can put their food scraps in their brown compost cart along with yard waste. When you add other compostable items such as paper napkins, coffee grounds and paper cups, it’s easy to see how composting will significantly reduce what we send to the landfill. commercial_food_scrap_image_176x300

A successful pilot program was conducted in three Napa neighborhoods. When surveyed, two out of three households within the pilot area reported participating in the program. On average, these households saw a 24 percent decrease in the volume of their household trash.

To help residents begin composting, Napa Recycling & Waste Services will provide all customers with a kitchen compost pail starting next month. The pails will be delivered over the next few months – but there is no need to wait for the pail. Food scraps, including meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruit and vegetables will be accepted, and food-soiled paper, coffee cups, paper towels and napkins, and coffee grounds, filters and tea bags can also go in the brown bins right away.

Residents should place their brown compost carts out for weekly pickup on their regular collection day. The collected food, soiled paper and yard waste material will go to Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility, where the facility is being upgraded to turn it all into organically certified compost that is available for purchase for home gardens, landscaping, and agricultural uses.

How will curbside food composting make a difference? Households compost an average of 10 pounds per week through curbside food composting programs – that’s 520 pounds per year per household. If every household in Napa participates, we will be keeping 8,450 TONS of material out of the landfill each year! Composting eliminates the powerful greenhouse gases created when organic materials end up in landfills, and using Napa’s organic compost enriches the soil naturally, prevents erosion, conserves water, and closes the loop locally and sustainably.

“We are excited to begin a food composting program in Napa,” said Kevin Miller, City of Napa recycling manager. “This is the first major change to the City’s residential curbside collection programs in 10 years. This program is necessary for us to meet both local and state goals of recycling or composting at least 75 percent of discarded materials by 2020.”

To learn more about the new curbside food composting program, or to access the complete results of the food composting pilot program survey, click here.

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