Organics Recycling                                                                                                                                 

The organics recycling program commenced for residents on 02/01/21 and then on 1/01/22 for commercial customers. Escondido residents are able to place food scraps (in addition to yard waste) in their green roll-out carts. EDI collects and processes the materials into digestate (which can be further processed into fertilizer) and renewable energy. By reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill, the program will result in cleaner air, healthier soils, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

December 1, 2021, the City of Escondido amended Chapter 14 of the Escondido Municipal Code to align with the State of California’s recycling and organics recycling requirements set forth by Assembly Bills (AB) 341 and 1826.

Residential customers receive one GREEN 96-gallon organics cart. Use your green cart to separate landscape waste, food scraps, and other organic materials for collection each week on your scheduled service day and set out by 6 a.m. or the night before. Two additional green carts are available at no extra cost. Residents requiring a fourth 96-gallon cart or more may request additional green carts for a nominal monthly fee.

Recyclable Organics Include

  • grass clippings
  • brush
  • weeds
  • hedge trimmings
  • branches
  • leaves
  • ice plant (in small amounts only due to weight)
  • ivy
  • floral decorations
  • Halloween pumpkins
  • Christmas trees (no flocked trees)
  • untreated and non-lead based painted wood
  • food scraps
  • food-soiled paper

Place recyclable organics directly into your designated green cart. Do not use any kind of plastic bags (including certified compostable or biodegradable bags) for any type of green waste, food waste, or other organics collection or disposal, as they contaminate the Anaerobic Digester. All organic material must be placed loosely inside the green cart for collection. Paper bags are acceptable.

Please do not place any of the following materials in your green cart:

  • No plastic bags.
  • No trash or hazardous waste.
  • No animal waste.
  • No dirt, rocks, asphalt, concrete, sand, etc.
  • No treated or lead-based painted wood or lumber.

Commercial Organics Recycling

Businesses and multifamily complexes with five units or more are required to implement some form of recycling and organics recycling program to comply with state regulations and local ordinance. Businesses and public entities that generate two cubic yards (CY) of solid waste are required to recycle organic waste (food and/or green waste). Solid waste is the total of trash, recycling, and organics generated by businesses.

Business Organic Waste Includes:

  • Food Scraps and Compostable Paper: food waste and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste
  • Green Waste/Landscape Materials and Nonhazardous Wood Waste

Multifamily Organic Waste Includes:

  • Green Waste/Landscape Materials and Nonhazardous Wood Waste
  • Multifamily complexes are not required to have a food-waste diversion program; however, those with 5+ units generating enough landscape-related organics will be required to recycle those organics.

To comply with the new ordinance, you will need to set up labeled containers in convenient locations for patrons, employees and residents. You will then need to train and educate your tenants, residents, employees, contractors and janitors on how to properly sort their waste and to ensure requirements are met. Visit CalRecycle for a free sign generator.

(Click here for printable flyer)

Please be aware, the existing regulations allow for exemptions on a case-by-case basis; if you believe your business or multifamily complex is eligible for an exemption, please contact the Recycling Division, 760-839-4361 or click here for waiver in English and here for the Spanish version.  Please fill out all fields in the waiver and either email or mail it to the addresses listed.

EDI’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Facility 

EDI has had a longstanding commitment to reducing impacts on the environment through innovation. EDI’s state-of-the-art AD Facility began serving customers in early 2021, assisting customers to be in full compliance with state mandates. AD is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials such as food waste, green waste, fats, oils and greases. AD happens in closed spaces where there is no oxygen and converts organic material into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and fertilizer. Recycling organics will be easy and convenient with EDI’s commingled organics recycling program. For more information, visit Escondido Disposal Inc's website.

Food Recovery

SB 1383 Targets & Enforcement: SB 1383 establishes targets to reduce organic waste disposal by 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025, and to increase edible food recovery by 20% by 2025. Cities and counties are required to implement a variety of programs to advance these goals.

SB 1383 puts programs in place that are designed to help recycle food waste and reuse it through food donation. The No. 1 priority, though, should always be to reduce food waste at the source.

Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. This is the highest and best use for food that would otherwise go to waste. Feeding hungry people through food recovery is the best use for surplus food and a vital way for California to conserve resources and reduce waste thrown in landfills. 

Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills each year, some of which was still fresh enough to have been recovered to feed people in need. While billions of meals go to waste, millions of Californians don’t have enough to eat.

To reduce food waste and address food insecurity, surplus food still safe for people to eat will instead go to food banks, soup kitchens, and other food recovery organizations and services to help feed Californians in need. This will save landfill space and lower methane emissions, a climate super pollutant, emitted by organic waste in landfills.

The City of Escondido works with Produce Good, a gleaning service that picks and donates unwanted local produce from commercial farms and residents and provides the City with another way to meet the California state diversion compliance laws by diverting what would otherwise be wasted, keeping this unwanted produce out of the landfill to instead feed people. The City also works with the San Diego Food System Alliance which created a GIS platform that connects food recovery organizations with local businesses. Click here for more information on Food Recovery. (Spanish version)