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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Tania Levy, Recycling Program Manager, (510) 981-6357

Residents have already started receiving new tubs that will allow composting of food scraps like bones and meat and food-soiled paper like dirty napkins

Berkeley, California (Monday, August 20, 2007) - Starting in September, Berkeley residents will be able to send food and food-soiled paper to be composted, instead of sent to a landfill.

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority is helping to fund Berkeley’s program. The Authority and Berkeley have set a goal to reduce the amount of landfill-bound waste by 75 percent by 2010. Since food scraps and food-soiled paper are, at 38 percent, the largest unrecycled portion of the County’s residential waste, keeping food waste out of the landfills is key to that goal.

When does it start?

Throughout the month of August, residents who already have a plant debris cart will automatically receive the food pails. Collection will actually begin in September. Because the food waste will be mixed with the plant debris, collection of the big green plant carts will be increased to weekly. 

Who gets it?

Residents in single-family homes or in buildings with up to four units who already have a plant debris cart will automatically receive the food pails.  Residents who don’t have a plant debris cart can order one, to participate.

Condominium residents or residents of multi-family apartments with more than four units will need to call customer service at (510) 981-7270 to participate. Some special arrangements may need to be made for larger units.

How does it work?

During the month of August, customers will receive a pail and lid to collect food scraps, a how-to poster, a bag of compost and some other information to help get started.

Residents will then collect food scraps and food-soiled paper (including paper towels, napkins, coffee filters, bones and pizza boxes) in the kitchen pail, then put the food scraps into their yard waste carts for weekly pickup.

Collected food scraps will then be turned into compost at a plant near Modesto, and used by local farmers and landscapers to enrich the soil and grow healthier crops.

For more information about participating in the food waste recycling program, please call Public Works Customer Service at (510) 981-7270 or visit http://www.CityofBerkeley.info/pw/swm/plntcomp.html.


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