Food & Yard

Composting valuable organic materials such as food, garden and grass clippings, brush, untreated wood, and food-soiled paper can build healthy soils, keep materials out of the landfill, conserve water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help grow our local economy.

  1. Food
  2. Yard

Single-Family Residents

Prevent food from going to the landfill by:
  • Using these food waste prevention tips for residents.
  • Composting at home. See our Backyard Composting Made Easy brochure for more information on backyard composting.  Arcata residents can purchase a discounted backyard compost bin for $35 upon presentation of a water bill/receipt or a rental contract/receipt at the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department, 736 F Street, during regular business hours. 
  • Learn to compost and grasscycle by checking out videos and books from the Arcata Library

Multifamily & Business

Mandatory Organics Recycling

A new law requires businesses that generate 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week to arrange for recycling services for that waste. The law also requires jurisdictions to implement a recycling program to divert organic waste from affected businesses on and after April 1, 2016. In 2017, the law will include businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of organic waste. Beginning January 1, 2019, this law will extend to businesses generating 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste.

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.

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.