General Question

Acrylic's avatar

Do any cities have mandatory composting programs?

Asked by Acrylic (1942points) 2 weeks ago
27 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I’m reading this book, Pink & Green is the New Black, and the central character, Lucy Desberg, mentions this. I’ve never heard of this before. Is this really something happening? If so, how is it working out, the participation in the program?

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Forever_Free's avatar

Yes they do. Vancouver was one of the forerunners. They had a problem in that they didn’t have enough places to take the compost to.
Composting properly is a key thing to our earth. Sending things to a dump just doesn’t cut it.
I have done personal composting on my property for years. It makes you see and realize your waste along with turning it into black gold.
Thanks for the book reference.

janbb's avatar

Berkeley, CA and I believe, San Francisco do. You have a container in your kitchen for food waste and it gets dump in a separate garbage bin and picked up separately by the city. I presume they take it somewhere to a composting location. Between composting and recycling, my niece has very little true trash!

JLeslie's avatar

I saw a story about one of the East Asian countries. I don’t remember which one.

LadyMarissa's avatar

According to Green Matters:

San Francisco CA
Portland OR
Boulder CO
Denver CO
Seattle WA

These are US cities that have implemented mandatory composting. It appears to be a west coast thing that’s slowly moving east. I have noticed that on he east coast that they are pushing the countertop individual composters. Don’t know yet if that means they aren’t going to push the mandatory city composting choosing to trick us into doing it ourselves!!!

kritiper's avatar

The disposal company rents everyone a compost bin/cart. Lots of people use them, but the actual use of them isn’t a requirement. And I see people put refuse in them that isn’t supposed to be in them, just like people putting what they think are recyclables in recyclable carts that isn’t supposed to be in them, filmy plastics in particular. .

MrGrimm888's avatar

Nothing mandatory in my area.

Caravanfan's avatar

We do. We’re actually not allowed to throw compost in the trash, although I have no idea how they will enforce it. We do it, though and throw it in the composting bin.

KRD's avatar

We only get trash pickup not recycle or compost. A lot of it goes to our chickens.

janbb's avatar

In case I wasn’t clear, I meant that Berkeley, CA definitely does.

jca2's avatar

Los Angeles does, too.

jca2's avatar

I’m wondering how it would work in a high rise building, or how it would work if the resident was not physically able to get the compost bin down to the main bin on the ground floor.

Acrylic's avatar

Awesome. I’m not sure what composting does but it caught my eye.

(No idea how to make those little letters, but @Forever_Free, that is the third and final book in the Pink & Green series. It focuses on a 13 year old girl, much of the story revolves around her efforts to make her family business and school more “green”. There’s also family and friendship stuff in the mix. It’s main target audience is teen girls, but I don’t care. I do a lot of programs with girls so books like this are easy for me to enjoy. This main character, Lucy, us as girl as girl can get.)

kritiper's avatar

@Acrylic Composting keeps excess material out of landfills. to save space in said landfills.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We did for a few years. Then they canceled it 2 years ago. I was, and still am, bereft.

raum's avatar

We’ve had composting bins ever since we moved to the Bay Area. But this is the first time I’ve heard of it being mandatory.

Just did a quick google search and it looks like California passed a bill for mandatory composting back in 2022.

Apparently starting in 2024, you can get fined for contaminating your organic waste.

raum's avatar

As for how it’s going, it’s been pretty great. We have very little trash that goes into landfill.

Recycling: blue bin
Compost: green bin
Electronics: electronic recycling
Food pouches, chip bags, markers, batteries: various recycling programs with drop-offs at our kid’s school.
Shoes: Nike store
Textiles: Goodwill

RocketGuy's avatar

Seattle does it. They get a separate bin for it. San Jose is talking about it, but I have not seen how they want to implement it.

raum's avatar

@RocketGuy All of California is doing it, apparently.

RocketGuy's avatar

I have a hard time believing the trucks will be able to shake out bins with stuck on lasagna and spaghetti/meat balls, or even coffee grounds. Veggie trimmings and paper plates maybe.

raum's avatar

We put our compost in paper grocery bags. Totally doable.

RocketGuy's avatar

That would work. I hope they tell everyone to do that once the program starts up in San Jose.

kritiper's avatar

In our compost system, no meat products, grains, dairy, food unless it’s fruit and/or vegetable. Food contaminated paper goes to the landfill as trash. (Clean paper of certain types goes into recycling bin.) Yard waste, grass, leaves, branches, coffee grounds are OK as compost. No animal waste, like from dogs or cats. Anything that be ground up to use in your yard as mulch is compost. Brown paper bags for leaves are compostable. They put all compost through a huge grinding machine to turn it into yard mulch.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I had 2 tall kitchen trash cans in my trash can closet. 1 was for trash 1 was for recycling @RocketGuy. The city provided a regular trash dumpster and a separate recycling dumpster. The trash guys didn’t have to sort anything.

RocketGuy's avatar

We already have trash and recycle bins. Now they are talking about composting bins. I hope they provide instructions on what’s acceptable and how to package it.

SnipSnip's avatar

I hope not.

janbb's avatar

I just read that NYC is planning to phase it in.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have to put our organic in a specific bin. There is a fine if we use the regular trash.

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