Before you toss that leftover pasta dish, the city of Los Angeles wants you to know you need to compost it now.
“It’s kind of like the same material we’re dealing with right now,” says environmental engineer Bernadette Halverson. “It’s just a matter of diverting food waste from the black bin to the green bin. By doing this, we’re actually doing our part and helping the environment.”
LA Sanitation has launched a new composting program as part of a NSW mandate aimed at removing organic waste from landfill. All 750,000 customers must now throw food and food-soiled paper, such as pizza boxes, in the green bin along with yard waste.
If everyone gets involved, the initiative, Organics LA, will divert 2.2 million pounds of food scraps a day from landfills, similar to what Doll Hansen is doing at her Atwater Village home, Halverson said. .
Hansen throws her food scraps, whether fruit, meat or anything else, into a compost pile next to her vegetable garden.
“We need to do this for our environment,” she said.
California officials hope residents will follow in Hansen’s footsteps, believing that if they do, the state can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2075.
The curbside organics take-back program has been around for several years, and the health department started it as a pilot program before slowly expanding it.
Residents must now throw the following items into their compost piles:
- fruit and vegetable
- dairy products
- breads, grains and legumes
- meat and fish
- coffee grounds
- Food Contaminated Products
The city will provide free kitchen buckets that residents can pick up at certain distribution points. However, people can put food scraps in paper bags with anything and throw them in the green bin.
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