Lakewood: Organic / Food Waste Recycling Is Coming
By state law, cities in California are required to begin recycling food waste and other organic material from residential and commercial waste beginning in 2022.
Food and organic waste represent 40% of municipal waste. Food and organic waste placed in landfill releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which produce a wide range of negative environmental and health impacts. Recycling organic waste significantly reduces these emissions… and produces valuable end products, including compost and renewable fuel for vehicles.
Benefits of the program:
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Produces fuel that makes America more energy independent. (Indeed, Lakewood will begin using renewable natural gas from food waste to power EDCO’s garbage vehicles in our city.)
- Extends the life of California landfills so that precious space can be used for products that cannot be recycled.
- Creates opportunities for grocery stores and large restaurants to donate edible food to food banks for food insecure people… instead of burying garbage.
At its October 26 meeting, Lakewood City Council approved changes to the municipal code to begin implementing the state-mandated food waste and organics recycling program in Lakewood.
EDCO (the contracted waste and recycling company in Lakewood) will begin educating residents on how to implement recycling changes in the coming weeks.
Lakewood is fortunate that residential customers in the city already have a green waste cart. This cart will now be used for food and organic waste in addition to outdoor green waste. So residential customers in Lakewood will not need new carts. Many cities do not have a green waste cart and their residents will have more changes to implement with this program.
While this state-mandated program is a marked change in the way Lakewood residents and businesses deal with their waste, it should be noted that the Lakewood community adjusted well in 2007 and 2009, when changes Significant amounts of automated waste collection and recycling have been implemented. EDCO and the city will provide extensive training to residents in the weeks and months to come. Look for the first briefing documents that will be arriving in your mailbox soon.