Yard waste that is placed in the trash bin will be taken to a landfill where it decomposes with the rest of the waste stream, wasting the significant amount of nutrients in the yard waste that could be turned into a valuable soil amendment.
Yard waste that is placed in the proper container (the brown dumpster or bin), is taken to the Agromin Limoneira facility where it is turned into mulch and compost.
BUSINESS YARD WASTE
There are new mandatory commercial green waste recycling requirements in California due to the enactment of Assembly Bill 1826. Beginning April 1, 2016, all businesses (including multi-family residential dwellings of five or more units) that generate 8 cubic yards per week of green waste (landscape and pruning waste) are required to recycle their green waste by either:
1. Signing up for E. J. Harrison & Sons commercial organics recycling services
2. Composting landscape waste on site (verification required)
3. Arranging for the composting of landscape waste at a permitted facility through the contracted landscape maintenance contractor (verification required)
The intent of this legislation is to increase the overall recycling rate in California and reduce the amount of methane gas generated in landfills by removing organic material. Organic material has more environmental and community benefits when it is collected and processed separately from trash.
The City of Ventura and E. J. Harrison & Sons can provide free waste assessments to help businesses comply with this law. Options for recycling landscaping waste can be discussed during free waste assessments.
Online reservations for assessments can be made at www.surveymonkey.com/r/
RESIDENTIAL YARD WASTE
Residents can sign up for yard waste collection service from E.J. Harrison by calling 805-647-1414, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
"Mandatory Organic Waste Recycling Requirements for Businesses"
Quick Tips to Prevent Food Waste at Home
- Shop your fridge and cupboards first to avoid buying food you already have.
- Create your shopping list based on how many meals you expect to eat at home before your next shopping trip. Include quantities on your shopping list to avoid overbuying.
- Buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often so you waste less while enjoying fresher ingredients.
- Buy only what you realistically need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
- Choose loose fruit and vegetables over pre-packaged produce to better control the quantity you need and to ensure fresher ingredients.
- Keep a running list of meals that your household already enjoys. That way, you can easily choose a meal to prepare.
Keep Food Fresh
- Keep your fridge organized and set at 40 degrees F or slightly cooler. The coldest part of the fridge is the lower shelves. Keep meats and other perishable foods there.
- Set one crisper drawer to low humidity for fruits and other crisper drawers at high humidity for vegetables.
- Find a deal on produce or meat at the grocery store? Use your freezer to keep food fresh up to six months. Remove the meat from the store packaging, trim fat, and double wrap in an airtight freezer bag. Fresh vegetables can be blanched before freezing to preserve taste and nutritional value.
- Don't toss that extra milk! Milk can be frozen up to two months in an airtight container. Don't forget to leave room for the liquid to expand!
Eat What You Buy
- About 2/3 of the food we don't eat is a result of overbuying and spoilage. Keep an "Eat Now" box in your fridge for leftovers and foods that need to be consumed soon.
- Plan an "eat the leftovers" night each week.
- Casseroles, frittatas, soups, and smoothies are great ways to use leftovers and odds and ends.
- Share food you won't get around to eating with friends neighbors, or coworkers.
- What to reinvent leftovers? Check our the wealth of blogs and websites online that are full of recipes and tips.
Our First Ever Citywide Food Waste Prevention Challenge was a Success!
Over 60 Ventura residents signed up to take the 8-week challenge to reduce food waste at home. The purpose of this pilot program was to educate reesidents about how much food their households waste and provide simple tips to make changes that would save them money and reduce waste.
After a two week baseline period, residents began to implement small lifestyle changes — shopping pantries and refrigerator before going to the grocery store, buying fresh fruits and vegetables in small quanities, freezing leftovers, using vegetable trimmings to make stock, and even sharing extras with family and coworkers. Results varied household to household, but some of the most active participants saw a 60 percent reduction in the amount of food they tossed in the trash.
What's the difference between preventable vs non-edible food waste?
Food waste can actually be separated into two categories – preventable and non-edible.
Preventable food waste is the stuff that spoils before we can finish it – that half of a bag of spinach that wilted, the strawberries that rotted, or the take-out that somehow got stuck in the back of the fridge and forgotten about. Preventable food waste is exactly that…preventable.
Non-edible food waste is the stuff we probably won’t be eating – egg shell, used coffee grinds, banana peels, stems, corn cobs…you get the idea. Non-edible food waste may not be appetizing to us, but worms sure like it! So do the good microorganisms in your backyard compost bin. If you want to try your hand at composting, the City offers discount vouchers for two different types of compost bins – the Wriggly Wranch and the Garden Gourmet.
Want some tips to prevent wasted food at home?
Check out these great videos from our friends in King County, Washington!
Want to learn even more?
- Visit the Natural Resources Defense Council’s website to read their issue paper titled Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill
- Another issue paper from the NRDC title “The Dating Game”. You’re not alone if you’re confused about the meaning of “sell by”, “best before”, or “use by” dates on food. Over 91% of consumers have thrown away food out of concern for its safety when the date they referred to actually intended to communicate to the store that the product still had shelf life left.
- Check out the Wasted Food blog – a project of the author of American Wasteland, speaker, and food waste activist Jonathon Bloom
- Interesting read from the New York Times, “Starve a Landfill: Efficiency in the Kitchen to Reduce Food Waste”
- A few cookbook ideas that promote a waste-free consciousness at home (so you don’t end up buying those obscure ingredients that are only used once then tossed)
WATCH the SUSTAINABLE VENTURA NEWS segment on the Food Waste Prevention Challenge, CLICK IMAGE BELOW!