- Public Works
- Environmental Sustainability
- Waste & Recycling
- Residential Recycling
Organic Waste Recycling is Here!
Commingled organics recycling launched in La Mesa on April 1, 2021! Single family homes can place food scraps (egg shells, bones, banana peels) and food soiled paper (napkins, pizza boxes, paper towels) along with landscape trimmings in their existing curbside green EDCO bin.
Single family homes can order a FREE kitchen caddie to collect their food waste in on the EDCO website here. Educational materials have been mailed to residents and are included in EDCO's Environmental Times newsletter. For more information on what goes where, visit EDCO's recycling guide.
As part of Senate Bill (SB) 1383, on January 1, 2022, in addition to single family homes already participating in curbside service, all multi-family residential dwellings (five or more units) and commercial businesses are now required to subscribe to recycling and organics recycling service as well. To ensure your multi-family apartment or condo complex is compliant, contact your property management to coordinate organic waste recycling service with the City's waste hauler, EDCO. Check out the educational video links and bin signs below.
As part of the City of La Mesa’s Climate Action Plan our community is working to divert 75% of our waste from the landfill through recycling, at home composting, donation, and curbside commingled organics recycling. These efforts to reduce waste sent to the landfill will help La Mesa reduce emissions and benefit our environment.
What is SB 1383?
In September 2016, Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), Short-lived Climate Pollutants: Organic Waste Reductions, established methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants in various sectors of California’s economy. Methane from decomposing organic waste in landfills is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, therefore, SB 1383 requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to develop regulations to reduce the disposal of organic waste to 50% below 2014 levels by 2020, and to 75% of 2014 levels by 2025. Additionally, CalRecycle must implement requirements to recover 20% of edible food for human consumption currently landfilled by 2025.
Per SB 1383, on January 1, 2022, all single-family residential dwellings (less than five units), commercial businesses, and multi-family residential dwellings (five or more units) are now required to subscribe to recycling and organics recycling service.
What is Organic Waste?
Organic waste includes yard waste, such as leaves and grass clippings, food waste, such as banana peels and egg shells, and food soiled papers, such as napkins and pizza boxes. Organic waste takes up the largest portion of waste in our landfills. When in landfills, organic waste decomposes to produce methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, along with other odorous and noxious gases. Reducing organic waste in landfills by food waste prevention, composting, and organics recycling reduces methane emissions, extends the life of local landfills, and creates valuable products such as renewable natural gas and fertilizer.
What is Organics Recycling?
In 2021, EDCO finished construction of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to process organic waste. The AD facility allows La Mesa residents and businesses to recycle their food waste and green waste, preventing it from ending up in the landfill. Diverting organic waste from the landfill will help the City meet its greenhouse gas and waste reduction goals. Organic recycling began for La Mesa residents in single family homes on April 1, 2021. For commercial businesses and multi-family residential dwellings, organics recycling began in early 2022 and EDCO provides one-on-one onsite consultations to set up organics recycling service. Check out the videos below to learn more about EDCO’s organic recycling program.
View EDCO's Anaerobic Digestor Video
Three-Stream Signage for Businesses and Residents
The City developed three-stream signage for businesses and residents to post at waste receptacles to help staff, customers, and residents properly and conveniently sort waste into the conventional recycling, organics recycling, and landfill items.
The City and EDCO continue to partner to provide education and outreach to La Mesa businesses and residents. This includes tabling at events, hosting webinars and workshops, mailers, and digital resources.
Backyard Composting Information and Benefits
Composting is the controlled, natural decomposition of organic matter. Organisms break down organic materials into compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment that improves the health and efficiency of your garden ecosystem from the ground up.
Composting has many benefits for you and the environment:
- Soil: Benefits your yard and garden by improving soil health and fertility, which increases plants’ resilience to pests, disease, and other environmental stressors.
- Water: Helps soil hold more moisture, minimizing erosion, runoff and nutrient loss, and reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Recycle: Diverts valuable organic resources from becoming hazardous materials in the landfill, and encourages natural nutrient cycling.
- Money: Saves money by conserving water and replacing the need to purchase commercial fertilizers and soil amendments.
Composting can be practiced almost anywhere...in your backyard, at work or at school, even in an apartment! All you need to get started is a little bit of space, the basic ingredients, and an understanding of the process.
Get Started Today
If you’re new to composting, or an experienced gardener who just needs a refresher, check out upcoming Compost Workshops at the Solana Center. You can also explore their Compost it Yourself Guide for all of the tips to get started today.
Discount Backyard Composting Bins AvailableThe City of La Mesa, in partnership with Dixieline ProBuild, offers vouchers for $40 off select compost bins at the La Mesa store. Vouchers are limited and available to City of La Mesa residents only on a first come, first served basis. Vouchers will be emailed within two to four weeks. Please complete this online form in order to qualify.
Paper Shredding EventsPaper Shredding Events occur twice a year at the parking lot adjacent to La Mesa City Hall, at 8130 Allison Ave. 2023 events are scheduled for 9 AM - 12 PM Saturday, June 10 and Saturday, November 11. La Mesa residents may bring 2 bankers boxes of paper to shred per household, and the paper will be shredded by a professional company on-site. No appointment is necessary.
There will be an electronic waste (e-waste) collection at the parking lot as well, and residents may bring items such as: computer parts; TVs, VCRs, and DVD players; radios, printers and scanners; stereo equipment; and telephones and cell phones. Please note that hazardous waste, including appliances containing Freon, is not accepted.
Goodwill will be present at 2023 events and will accept donated reusable items. All items must be in good condition for resale. Acceptable items include: Gently used clothing, linens, and shoes; dishes, pots, and pans; small household items such as collectibles and lamps; jewelry; and kitchen utensils and glassware. Please visit Goodwill's website for an updated list of acceptable items.