Over the past two months, many residents in Concord, Pittsburg and Oakley have received a small green pail on their doorstep courtesy of Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery (MDRR). This is part of their new program to recycle all organics, (i.e. food scraps), beginning September 4, as mandated by state law SB 1383.
In addition, households are given instructions and videos on the mdrr.com website on how to use the pails.
Your green cart will now become your organics cart and will be picked up weekly.
Residents will use the new kitchen pail to store food scraps and empty the contents into your green organics cart.
SB 1383 is a state law enacted in 2022 that mades it mandatory for residents to recycle their organics weekly. Concord and certain east county residents were exempt until MDRR could provide a facility large enough to store the organic material while it decomposes into compost.
The point of this is to reduce greenhouse gases released from landfills. According to the marketing collateral and website, over 50% of our landfill is comprised of organic waste: food, green waste, and food-soiled paper. Organic waste emits 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant.
One of the simplest ways we can fight climate change is by recycling organic waste.
What Goes in the Organics Cart?
Scraps of raw, cooked, or spoiled food of any variety including bones, shells, coffee grounds, etc. Also, you may recycle your food-soiled items such as napkins, pizza boxes, coffee filters, and paper-based food containers into your green cart.
The green cart will still collect your brush, small branches, lawn and plant trimmings, and even wood chips. You can now use this opportunity to clean out spoiling foods in the refrigerator as well.
Each week set your place your green cart at your curb for your regular pick-up by Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery. MDRR recycling trucks take this material to their Pittsburg facility for preprocessing, and then it goes to a compost facility where it is converted into soil-enriching compost.
What to do with your new Kitchen Pail
Place the kitchen pail in a convenient location such as under the sink. Line the pail with newspaper or paper bag (no plastic bags), place all your food preparation scraps into the pail.
To reduce odors, sprinkle baking soda into your pail, rinse it out or place in a dishwasher, (do not use the dry-heat settings). Then every couple of days you should empty it into the green cart.
Many communities in the East Bay have already been complying since the law was enacted. The program will eventually expand to multifamily properties like condos, townhomes, and apartments. In Concord, commercial customers have had organics service for some years now.
The bottom line, less food waste in landfills limits greenhouse gases. Put green waste and food scraps in the right place for reuse.