Businesses: Green Organics Cart

Depending on the organic materials a commercial business generates, a business can participate in one or both of the following programs:  

1. Green organics cart (see info below) 

2. Commercial Food to Energy Program (click here for more information) 

Organic waste accounts for more than a third of the material in California's waste stream. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by the decomposition of organic material in landfills contributes to global climate change. Reducing the amount of organic material sent to landfill is part of California's Short Lived Climate Pollutant strategy (SB 1383) and is one of California's strategies for reaching a statewide 75% recycling goal. 

Scroll down to see list of acceptable organic materials that can be placed in the green cart. 

 

Benefits of Composting in the Green Cart and Applying Compost to Soil

  • ​Reduce material going into black landfill cart (reduce size/collection frequency = save money!)

  • Reduces organic material sent to local landfills. 

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Increases water retention in your soil. 

  • Returns nutrients to the soil, such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and many trace minerals, which are slowly released and contribute to healthy plant growth.

  • Suppresses weed growth. 

  • Helps control erosion. 

  • Fire remediation. 

  • Strengthen market demand for compost. 

Green Cart Information

Businesses can work with Republic Services to determine appropriate size and collection frequency for organics service. Organics collection is provided at no cost with your landfill service. 

Business Services Guide

Download the Business Services Guide here. Customers can also call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 to request a free mailed guide. 

How to Contain Your Food Scraps for Clean Composting

To compost food scraps in your green organics cart, businesses are encouraged to use newspaper, paper bags or BPI-Certified compostable bags to wrap food. Businesses can also dump food loose into the green cart. No plastic accepted in the green cart. It is best to cover food scraps with green material, and if needed, place a piece of cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of your green cart to avoid sticking. Click here to learn more about composting food scraps in your green organics cart. 

 

The following organic materials are accepted in the green organics cart:  

Yard Trimmings

  • Brush
  • Flower cuttings
  • Flower arrangements
  • Garden trimmings
  • Hay and straw
  • House plants (shake dirt off) 
  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Prunings
  • Shrubbery
  • Untreated wood (4 feet or less in length and 6 inches in diameter)
  • Wood chips 
  • Weeds 
  • Vines (NO poison oak or poison ivy - landfill) 
  • Palm leaves 
  • Cacti
  • Clean pet bedding and shavings (made from paper or wood)  

All Food Scraps

  • Raw or cooked food scraps
  • Frozen food (remove all packaging) 
  • Canned or packaged food (remove all packaging)
  • Vegetables 
  • All meat and seafood (remove foil and/or packaging) 
  • Bones and shells
  • Dairy
  • Bread, grains, pasta
  • Fruits (pits too!) 
  • Egg shells 

Uncoated Food-Soiled Paper

All coated food grade paper materials (shiny on one side) are coated with plastic. It is very rare to find wax coated materials these days. These materials are a contaminant in the green cart. Please put all coated food grade paper in your black landfill cart.

The following uncoated paper materials can be composted in your green organics cart:  

  • Pizza boxes
  • Uncoated paper plates
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper towels 
  • Paper egg cartons 
  • Bamboo and wood chop sticks

 

**The following materials should never be placed in your green cart

Many of the materials below should go in your black landfill cart, or may have special disposal needs. Call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 with questions.  

  • No Plastic
  • Coated (shiny) food grade paper materials (landfill) 
  • Biodegradable and "compostable" plastics (landfill)  
  • Ashes (landfill - cool first) 
  • Large tree trunks and stumps 
  • Pet waste or manure (landfill) 
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Poison oak, poison ivy (landfill) 
  • Rocks, concrete, sod or dirt 
  • Treated or painted wood