Food & Yard
Composting valuable organic materials such as food, garden and grass clippings, brush, untreated wood, and food-soiled paper can build healthy soils, keeps materials out of the landfill, conserves water and energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps grow our local economy!
- Using these food waste prevention tips for residents.
- Composting at home. See our Backyard Composting Made Easy brochure for more information on backyard composting.
- Learn to compost and grasscycle by checking out videos and books from the Arcata Library.
If you have a backyard, patio, balcony, or any small outside space, you can purchase a composting bin, or build one yourself!
The City of Arcata sells the Soil Saver, an 11.5 cubic foot (28"x28"x32") capacity home composting vessel for $35. This high-quality backyard composter is made of black 100% recycled heavy-duty weather-resistant material that won’t crack, rust or rot. The Soil Saver can be purchased at the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department. You must live within city limits and present water receipt/bill or rental contract/ receipt. Renters must obtain approval from their landlords or property owners prior to purchase.
Some people living in an apartment complex or any other shared/communal area may sometimes not have any outside space to compost. If you are in this situation, we highly encourage you to work with your neighbors and talk to your landlord/property manager to implement a communal composting in a shared space.
Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Law (AB 1826) was signed in 2014 to help achieve California's recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals. AB 1826 requires businesses that generate a specified amount of organic waste per week to arrange for waste recycling services, and for jurisdictions to implement a recycling program to divert organic waste from businesses.
These businesses include multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units. Please note that multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program.
Types of Organic Waste
Businesses must arrange for recycling services for the follow types of organic waste:
- Food waste
- Green waste
- Landscaping/pruning waste
- Non-hazardous wood waste
Who Must Comply
|Businesses and Multi-family Complexes Recycling Thresholds|
|April 1, 2016||Generators of 8 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week|
|January 1, 2017||Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week|
|January 1, 2019||Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week|
|Current||Generators of 2 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week|
For more information, please visit CalRecycle's Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling page.
Business Tips to Prevent Food Waste
Reducing food waste saves money and resources by reducing your purchasing, handling, disposal and energy costs. Additionally, your business can receive tax benefits from donating edible food to local food banks and other food rescue organizations.
- Assess and track what food is being wasted.
- Choose the best waste reduction strategy for the opportunities that exist at your facility.
- Adjust food purchasing policies to prevent excess food purchasing.
- Adjust menus to reduce frequently uneaten or wasted items.
- Adjust preparation methods and portion sizes to minimize waste.
- Store food properly to avoid spoilage.
- Repurpose leftovers.
How to Divert Food from Landfills
- Donate pre-consumer food to local food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters.
- Donate pre-consumer food to local farmers.
- Compost post-consumer food and keep it out of the landfill.
Edible Food Rescue Capacity AssessmentIn 2021 Zero Waste Humboldt completed an Edible Food Rescue Capacity Assessment for the City of Arcata and City of Eureka. This assessment included outreach to local food waste generators (grocery stores, food distributors, food vendors, restaurants, hotels, health facilities, and educational agencies), as well as in depth interviews with local food recovery organizations.
This report gives insight to local food waste and food security issues, and can be read in its entirety by clicking here.
Curbside Pick Up
Prevent yard waste from going to the landfill by taking advantage of the new curbside Yard Waste Pickup service from Recology Arcata. Get details and sign up for services today.
Green Waste Recycling
For Recology Arcata customers who live within city limits you can take your greenwaste and unpainted lumber to 6360 West End Road. Customers can bring in 24 1-yard loads (or fewer larger loads) every calendar year. Drop-off volumes of less than one full cubic yard will be “rounded-up” and counted as the use of one cubic yard/drop-off use on the customer’s account. Once a customer’s account reaches 24 cubic yards in one calendar year, the standard fee of $11.00 per cubic yard will apply until the annual allotment resets on January 1, 2023.
To establish a green waste drop-off account, present a photo I.D. and a copy of a current Recology Arcata bill. Once an account is established you only need to bring your photo I.D. to drop green waste. When registering, an account customer may list ONLY two user names per account. Non-listed users will not be permitted to drop off green waste at “no charge.” Please note: Should you choose to add a landscaper or landscaping business as an authorized user, green-waste material delivered under your account may contain material commingled from other customers and reduce your overall annual “no charge” allotment.
The greenwaste recycling facility is located at 6360 West End Road. For additional information on its services, call 707-822-8035. Access the Google map for a mapping details to the facility.
If you have questions regarding the green waste drop-off program please call the Environmental Services Department at 707-822-8184 or email email@example.com.