Due to the new composting laws in California, composting is going to be much more popular in the coming years. Senate Bill 1383 requires all residents and businesses to separate such “green” waste from other trash. Meaning residents will separate food waste and food-soiled paper products from their trash and place that waste in a green bin for recycling. Green waste refers to the food scraps, vegetables, peels, old fruit, banana peels, and other items like these from your kitchen. It also means grass clipping and other yard waste from your garden.
What are we trying to accomplish?
This change is designed to help the environment. If your food scraps and other green waste from your yard are buried in the landfill, they create methane gas (a greenhouse gas) released into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases make the earth warmer. Think of them like a blanket around the world. Disposing of your green waste in the green bin instead of the trash bin ensures it is composted, which mixes well with soil. Compost is a valuable part of the soil on farms and urban gardens. You can read about compost and vermicomposting from our previous blog articles.
Why This Is A Mess
This sounds simple enough, and San Franciscans have been doing this for the past 25 years. The challenge we face today is not many people know about the change. Not all cities are rolling it out at the same time. Some cities don’t have a way yet to collect the green waste. However, most California cities do have a plan for this over the next few months or years, and we all need to help spread the word to get people on board.
What You Can Do To Help
First, share this article with your family, friends, co-workers, and clubs. The more the word gets out, the faster people can save our environment. Next, if you have a garden, start composting at home. You don’t need to have your green waste hauled to the composting yard so you can drive to the nursery and purchase compost or soil topper. Just take care of this at home. I know many Master Composters who agree, composting is easy. With minimal effort, you can turn your green waste into gold. Here is an excellent article on an easy way to get started composting.