Why do we need to bag food waste?

UPDATE 2/3/22: After a successful first month of the program, Harrison and its partners at Agromin have approved the use of folded-shut paper bags in addition to the tied plastic bags that have been accepted since residential food waste recycling began. In Ventura and other customer cities, they observed that the bags are not easily subject to breaking and causing contamination in the yard waste materials so the program can move away from the plastic-bag-only requirement. When possible, the City and Harrison Industries will continue to adapt the program to produce the lowest environmental impact as more resources become available and as we observe the program for longer periods. 

It is still important to remember that any bag you choose must be properly secured. If you are using a plastic bag, please tie the bag before placing it into the appropriate container. If you are using a paper bag, please fold down the top a few times so that it is secure before placing it into the appropriate container. It’s also important that you do not place liquids in your bag so that the integrity of the bag is maintained as best as possible. Food waste naturally has some liquids, but please keep all other liquid forms out such as juice, broth, and oil. 

Bagged food waste material collected from the yard waste carts will be separated from yard waste at Gold Cost Recycling and Transfer Station, and sent for processing at certified organics processing facilities. All bags and other residual trash and debris will be disposed of at the landfill. Material sent to these facilities must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into products like organic fertilizer or renewable energy. Due to the need for clean organic material, commingled organic material (which is when yard waste and food waste are mixed together) will not be accepted at this local facility. 

Ultimately, we’re working toward developing a program where food waste and yard waste can be commingled with soiled paper and other bio-based materials. There is progress to permit a local facility known as the Limoneira facility, being permitted that will be able to accept commingled material. When the Limoneira organics processing facility is complete, we will be able to eliminate the need for bagging food waste. Until then, City staff have determined that this short-term solution is the most responsible choice for our community and the environment at large.  

Show All Answers

1. What laws require food waste recycling?
2. What is food waste?
3. What is organic waste?
4. How do I separate my food waste?
5. Can I place my food waste directly in my yard waste container without bagging it?
6. Why do we need to bag food waste?
7. Do the bags have to be made of plastic?
8. What happens to the bag of food waste after it's collected?
9. Can I add compostable materials, like compostable plates, cups, utensils and napkins, to my yard waste bin?
10. Will separating food waste cause odor or pests?
11. Do I have to participate if I already have a backyard compost bin at home?
12. How does this program prevent methane emissions?
13. Can I put my new kitchen pail on the curb?
14. What happens if I don’t participate in the program?