food for soil

Most people don't realize how much food they throw away each day – from uneaten leftovers to old produce or food.

Here's some food for thought: Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills annually, and organic waste makes up over 50 percent of what landfills receive each year. Unfortunately, food waste also increases greenhouse gas emissions that impact our environment.

That's why Roseville and other California communities are rethinking the way they recycle. In 2016, California passed a bill, SB1383, that requires local jurisdictions to compost organic waste at the household level. This new law will go into effect in 2022. This legislation aims to reduce statewide organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025, which will help reduce methane gas – a significant contributor to the rise in Earth's temperature.

A new approach to recycling food waste is being tested

Roseville customers will see a change in how they dispose of food waste starting next year. Because of these changes, we are testing approaches before we launch a citywide program.

We are currently conducting the second phase of a pilot study to determine how to implement our citywide program.

As part of the pilot study approach, a group of selected customers received a third bin for recycling in addition to their trash bin and green waste bin. Food waste is collected in their kitchen using a countertop bucket and then disposed into the green waste bin. Another approach is to have customers place food waste into their trash and recycling bin to be separated later at the Materials Recovery Facility. No specific process has been selected, but Environmental Utilities plans to choose a preferred option by the end of the year.

Food for Soil: Addressing food insecurity while reducing impacts of climate change

Discarded food is often still fresh. Roseville plans to assist with food recovery to feed those in need by coordinating with local food banks, soup kitchens, and food recovery organizations. The coordination includes developing partnerships with these organizations and ensuring that excess fresh food from local grocery stores and distributors are sent their way. It's our goal to address food insecurity in our community while also complying with regulations to reduce food waste at the landfill.

Diverting food waste through the residential and food insecurity programs helps significantly reduce the amount of organics landfilled, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, organic waste will be put to good use, becoming compostable soil. This resource is available for purchase at the landfill located at 3195 Athens Ave, Lincoln, CA 95648.