According to the National Resources Defense Council, a four-person family can spend up to $1,500 per year on food that is ultimately thrown away. The good news is that there are many ways we can reduce food waste! This can be as simple as planning a menu for more purposeful shopping, or by using proper food storage techniques to ensure the food we buy lasts until we are ready to use it. Find helpful food waste prevention tips here.
Taking leftovers for lunch is an easy way to reduce food waste, but what do you do when your plans change unexpectedly, leaving unprepared food in the fridge and your meal planning out the window? Find ideas and recipes to use the food you already have.
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SB 1383 is a new State regulation that goes into effect January 1, 2022, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of organic waste that goes to landfills. Statewide targets have been set to reduce organic waste disposal by 75%, and to rescue 20% of edible food that is currently thrown away by businesses by 2025. The regulations and more information can be found on CalRecycle’s website.
Organic wastes are materials such as food waste, yard clippings, paper, and cardboard. Organic wastes produce methane when they decompose in a landfill. Learn more about organic decomposition in landfills on the EPA’s website.
According to CalRecycle, together, Californians send roughly 39 million tons of waste to landfills every year, a significant portion of that waste is organic material, such as yard trimmings, wood, cardboard, and food waste. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill it generates methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide. To reduce these harmful emissions, California created the SB 1383 regulations to meet a statewide goal to reduce organic waste going to landfills by 75%.
If you have a green waste bin, continue to place yard and non-treated wood waste into your green waste bin. In unincorporated Placer County, your food waste should be included in your trash bin; only yard and non-treated wood waste should go in your green waste bin.
In areas without green waste bins, such as rural areas, green waste dumpster rental or drop off options are available through your hauler. The Placer County Chipper Program is another resource to reduce your greenwaste through onsite vegetation chipping.
Yes, residents and businesses can still self-haul their trash and organic waste to both the western and eastern MRFs, and transfer stations.
Even though we sort your waste at the MRFs, you can also separate your recyclables and take them to a MRF, transfer station, community recycling bin or buy-back centers.
At the Eastern Regional and Western Placer Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), we already treat organic waste and recyclable materials as the valuable resources they are. Carboard and other recyclables are separated from waste, baled, and marketed to recyclers for a new life. Green waste and food collected from businesses are made into compost, a beneficial soil amendment, or taken to biomass plants where they are turned into energy. Recycling these organic wastes into new products reduces landfill generation of methane, a greenhouse gas that is much more potent than carbon dioxide.
Take a virtual tour of a MRF and see how compost is made, or watch this video to see for yourself how Placer recycles for you!
In Placer County, we remain committed to making recycling and disposal easy for our residents and businesses. In addition to curbside collection, where your waste is sorted for recycling, you may drop-off your yard and wood waste at a transfer station or MRF. Consider other options such as composting at home or in community gardens, using food scraps as animal feed, and grass-cycling your lawn clippings.
Composting your yard trimmings, food scraps and even scrap paper will result in a rich and nutritious material that can be added to your soil. Compost provides nutrients to plants, reducing the need to purchase expensive chemical fertilizers, and helps soil retain moisture - saving water!
For home composting basics, see tips from the UC Master Gardeners of Placer County.
Find composting basics from the UC Master Gardeners of Placer County here.
In addition to the benefit of reducing potent greenhouse gases at the landfill, there are many benefits to composting at home. Composting yard trimmings, food scraps and even scrap paper will result in a rich and nutritious material that can be added to soil. Adding compost to soil provides nutrients to plants, reducing the need to purchase expensive chemical fertilizers, and helps soil retain moisture - saving water.
Recycling is made easy for residents and businesses in Placer County because of the two materials recovery facilities that sort and recycle material for you. Residents are already participating in organic waste recycling by having trash collection or dropping off their garbage at the MRFs or transfer stations in Placer County. Residents can continue to use these services, or they can recycle by other methods (see FAQ above – How do I recycle my organic waste?) and will not receive any fines.
Placer County will continue to educate businesses on additional requirements that have to be met by the State regulations. Beginning January 1, 2022, the County and waste haulers are required to conduct inspections and reviews for compliance, and we will work with businesses to inform them of the requirements. In 2024, the County is required to issue fines for repeated violations that have not been resolved after that business has been notified.