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LA now requiring residents compost food scraps

California requiring residents to compost their food scraps
California requiring residents to compost their food scraps 02:55

Before you throw out that leftover plate of pasta, the city of Los Angeles wants you to be aware you are now required to compost it.

"It's sort of like the same type of material that we're currently handling," said environmental engineer Bernadette Halverson. "It's just a matter of moving the food waste from the black bin to the green bin. And by doing that we're actually doing our part, helping the environment."

L.A. Sanitation rolled out its new composting program as part of the new state mandate aimed at getting organic waste out of landfills. All of its 750,000 customers must now toss their food and food-soiled paper, such as a pizza box, into their green bin, along with their yard waste. 

Doll Hansen's compost pile at her Atwater Village home. KCAL News

Halverson said the program, which is called Organics L.A., will divert 2.2 million pounds of food scraps a day from landfills if everyone gets on board, similar to what Doll Hansen has been doing at her Atwater Village home.

Hansen tosses her food scraps, whether it's fruits, meat or anything else, into her compost pile situated right next to her vegetable garden. 

"We need to do it for our environment," she said. 

California officials hope that residents will follow in the footsteps of Hansen, believing that if they do the state can reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2075. 

The curbside organics recycling program has been around for several years, with the sanitation department starting it as a pilot program before slowly expanding it. 

Residents must now throw the items below into their composting pile: 

  • Fruits, veggies
  • Dairy 
  • Bread, cereal grains and beans
  • Meat and fish 
  • Coffee grounds 
  • Food soiled products

The city will be offering free kitchen pails that residents can pick up at certain distribution sites. However, people can use anything to put their food scraps in a paper bag and toss them into the green bin. 

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