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Compost? Problem? Solution!

The Problem: Methane - lots of it! Compost is a big challenge for climate change. The reason is that we humans put way too much compostable material into our garbage. The compostable material rots in our landfill, mixed in with our trash, and produces methane. Methane is bad. If we instead put the organics into the green bin for compost, it all gets turned into compost, which reduces the methane released, and allows it to go back into the soil. 

1825 pounds of trash: that's how much on average each one of us produces each year. Yuck! At the top of the content list: food and paper. 

The Solution: Put food waste into the green bin (compost)!  In California, we have a new law (SB 1383)that is requiring that all organics be diverted away from landfill and into compost. The goal is huge: we are required to decrease the organics (translation: food) in our landfill by 75%. (There's also a related edible foods requirement, with an expectation that California will recover for human consumption 20% of edible foods we currently put into the trash.) Recology has good information on SB 1383

What you can do:

1. Check out the Green Team Student slide show. It's quick, clear, and informative. Not only that, it was produced by our local Orchard View Green Team Students. You can find the slide show here

2. Put anything that's compostable into your curbside green compost bin. If you're not sure about a particular item, use the "What should I do with...." tool on the Zero Waste Sonoma website. You can also check out the handy Recology "sorting guide" that shows what goes where. The following can definitely go into our curbside compost: fruit, veggies, nuts, meats, dairy products, paper towels that have food on them. Basically anything you can eat, plus any paper that has something you could eat on it. 

3. Don't put food service products labeled "compostable" into compost! Crazy as it seems, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, bags, or other food service ware that claim to be "biodegradable" or "compostable" cannot be composted in the backyard or placed in curbside carts. Details are here. All of that goes into (unfortunately) the garbage. 

Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60, Sebastopol CA 95472
707 861-0032
FPPC #1430199
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