The Coast News Group

O’side set to launch residential compost waste pickup

OCEANSIDE — The city will begin a test pilot program to pickup residential compost waste next month in an effort to reduce organic waste from landfills.

The pilot program involves 1,500 homes in the north Rancho Del Oro neighborhood.

Households are asked to collect organic kitchen waste and put it in their green bins along with presently collected yard waste.

The discarded fruit, vegetable and grain food scraps will be picked up and composted, instead of being sent to the landfill.

Collected test pilot green waste will be sorted separately from citywide yard green waste to allow the city to look at contamination levels of unwelcome trash items, and any challenges the pilot service brings to El Corazon Compost Facility.

Residents in the test pilot area will receive direct mailers on compost waste pickup services this week.

Two workshops will be held this month to further explain the program, give how-to waste sorting instructions, and provide kitchen buckets to participants. The workshops will also discuss a zero waste lifestyle.

“The workshops will explain why we’re looking at organics, and what you’re putting in each pail,” Sarah Davis, city environmental specialist, said.

Kitchen buckets will also be available at City Hall for households in the test pilot area.

The buckets are ventilated containers that minimize smell and keep insects out of collected kitchen waste.

Upon picking up buckets households will be registered as participants and entered into weekly prize drawings.

The test pilot will run for two months.

Preliminary results of test pilot services will be shared with council this summer when city staff shares findings of its larger organic waste reduction feasibility study and presents a menu of recommendations.

Next steps will be determined by the City Council.

The city is mandated to reduce organic waste from landfills under AB 1826. At this point the state requires cities to educate businesses and residents, and take steps towards reduction until process facilities can be built.

Oceanside is ahead of the curve by having a compost facility within the city. City staff will use the test pilot to look at the impact of adding collected organic waste to compost operations and make recommendations to council.