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What You Need To Know About Changes Coming To San Diego’s Green Waste Recycling

A green bin is pictured in a San Diego backyard, June 2, 2021.

Photo by Megan Burke

Above: A green bin is pictured in a San Diego backyard, June 2, 2021.

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The city of San Diego is in the process of rolling out a whole extra layer of waste pickup -- food waste will soon need to be combined with yard ... Read more →

Aired: June 2, 2021 | Transcript

The city of San Diego is in the process of rolling out a whole extra layer of waste pickup — food waste will soon need to be combined with yard waste and placed in new green bins.

The content of the green bins the city picks up, will be processed and turned into compost and thus reduce waste going into landfills, extending the lives of the landfills and reducing the amount of methane, a greenhouse gas, emitted.

RELATED: Why Are There So Many Broken Trash Bins In San Diego?

The change is mandated by a state law, SB 1383, that takes effect Jan. 1, 2022. The state law also mandates that the pickup be weekly. Some single-family residences in the city already have yard waste pickup, but the current collection schedule is every other week.

"Basically all generators, so whether its single-family residences, multi-family residences or businesses or other commercial entities, basically will have to recycle all of their blue bin material, which is largely the case now, but specifically they will all have to recycle organic materials and it includes materials such as yard trimmings and untreated wood waste, as well as food scraps and food soiled paper and other similar items," Ken Prue, San Diego’s recycling program manager, said.

The cost of the new green bins, additional equipment, facilities, infrastructure and employees needed to increase service to weekly and accommodate food waste is currently unknown, but expected to be in the millions, Prue said.

The city does not expect to meet the January deadline, which could lead to fines. Prue said the city has been in contact with CalRecycle about its ongoing efforts to comply with the new law.

Prue joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss the coming changes and their impact.

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