Citywide Composting Program

About Composting

All residents and businesses now have the option for curbside collection of organic waste, including food scraps and yard waste, as part of their regular garbage service. This organic waste will be diverted from the landfill and composted at a commercial facility in the East Bay, helping our community achieve both its greenhouse gas reduction and waste diversion goals. Compost is a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be used in farms across the State to increase productivity and even reduce water use. Gardeners often call it "black gold".

Food Scraps & Food-Soiled Paper Products

Food scraps and food-soiled paper products are not waste; they are resources. This is a big shift in the way we all think about the things we throw in the garbage. Now, we need to see food scraps as resources. Through composting, we are able to return the nutrients in those items to the very soil that produced them in the first place. The more you think about it, the more common sense it becomes!


When we throw away food, like a spoiled apple, for example, we are also throwing away all of the energy that went into growing it, shipping it to the grocery store, buying it and transporting it home, storing it in your refrigerator, and then even after throwing it in the trash energy is wasted in transporting it to a transfer station and then to the landfill. We are never throwing away just a single item. We are throwing away all the resources that were used in its lifecycle. You can see how the wastefulness really starts to add up.

How to Get Started

Use your kitchen pail to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper products in your home and then transfer the contents to your green compost cart. Place the cart on the curb for pickup by Republic Services. This is the same cart that many residents already use for yard trimmings. Need a green cart? Email Republic or call 650-756-1130.

Infographic Sources

  • Buzby, Jean C., Hodan F. Wells, and Jeffrey Hyman. The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States, EIB-121, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February 2014.
  • California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. (2015). 2014 Disposal-Facility-Based Characterization of Solid Waste in California, DRRR-2015-01546.
  • 11 Facts About Recycling.
  • Environmental Protection Agency. (2011, December 11). Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Methane Emissions.
  • Gunders, Dana. (2012). Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill (PDF), IP: 12-06-B, Natural Resources Defense Council.