Napa compost plan to divert tons of waste

A curbside composting program in Napa could keep more than 8,000 tons of material out of its landfill each year, city officials said.

City officials said the program is underway and residents are allowed to put food scraps and paper soiled with food in their brown compost cart. City of Napa recycling manager Kevin Miller said in a statement:

“We’re excited to begin a food composting program in Napa.”

The program is the first big change in the city’s home curbside collection programs in a decade, Miller said. Napa Recycling & Waste Services will provide customers with a kitchen compost pail to help residents compost. Distribution will start in April and occur during the next few months, but residents can place scraps and soiled paper in their brown cart immediately.

Meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruits and vegetables, food-soiled paper, paper towels and napkins, coffee grounds and paper cups are being accepted as compost. Officials said food items typically make up more than 25 percent of household waste.

A pilot program in three Napa neighborhoods showed that about 67 percent of households would participate in the program. Participating homes saw their volume of trash decrease by 24 percent.

Officials said residents should put their brown compost carts out for pickup on the regular collection day. The material will go to the city’s recycling and composting facility where it will be turned into organic compost after the facility is upgraded, officials said. The compost will be available for purchase for landscaping, home gardens and agriculture.

If every household in the city participates, 8,450 tons of waste will be diverted each year from the landfill, city officials said. The effort will reduce greenhouse gases, which are released from landfills. Using compost enriches the soil, conserves water and prevents erosion.

Miller said:

“This program is necessary for us to meet both local and state goals of recycling or composting at least 75 percent of discarded materials by 2020.”