Last year, California enacted a law designed to reduce the generation of short-lived climate pollutants. The target – halting the landfilling of organics.
When it comes to composting, Sonoma has it all sorted out. Between 2021 and 2022, the amount of organics diverted from disposal increased by 35 percent, an impressive increase. And meanwhile, the amount of trash sent to the landfill correspondingly decreased.
The city’s Sustainability Coordinator, Travis Wagner, has met with residents, given talks to organizations, and staffed information tables to help everyone understand and comply with the organics requirements. Sonoma also partnered with other jurisdictions, and Zero Waste Sonoma, to purchase food scrap kitchen pails with a state grant.
The city along with its partners, Sonoma Garbage Collectors, Refill Madness of Sonoma, and Sonoma Garden Park, have distributed more than 1,400 free food scrap kitchen pails to city residents.
Organics are pretty much anything that was grown. They include yard waste, food scraps (vegetables, meat, and fish), food-contaminated paper and cardboard (pizza boxes), paper towels and napkins, untreated wood, plants, and old baskets made of reed or wood. All of these segregated items need to go into your green organics/compost cart where it is collected curbside and taken to a nearby compost facility.
Here’s why that’s important. When organics are landfilled, they create methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. When organics are removed from trash and are composted, it provides a beneficial soil amendment while helping to sequester carbon. The law, SB 1383, requires all generators – residents, businesses, non-profits, and schools – to segregate organic materials from the trash.
Plus, diverting organics from landfills helps to extend the life of Sonoma County’s only landfill, the Central Landfill in Petaluma. “Clearly, the community is putting forth the effort to make this happen,” said Wagner. “Thank you, Sonoma!”
Find out more at: Sonomacity.org/sort-it-sonoma