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Compost bins rolling out in January within City of San Diego

The city expects people who use their services to have a green bin and kitchen pail by July 2023.

SAN DIEGO — You may be wondering where your green trash bin is if you live in the City of San Diego. City residents were supposed to start composting this past summer, but the rollout has been delayed.

San Diegans can now expect to start recycling food and yard waste by early 2023.

Trash bins are stacked up and ready to roll out, “These are actually a couple thousand behind me, we have 260,000 we’re going to get out the door over six months. 15,000 a week. We have bins coming in and going out,” said Conrad Wear, the Deputy Director of the Collections Services Division.

They serve the City of San Diego, nearly 300,000 people who will soon have to change the way they throw away their trash. The bins will also come with a smaller kitchen pail, where you can throw your food waste before dumping it into the larger bins.

Wear says, “These are 95-gallon green organic bins. We have three sizes: 95, 65, and 35 (gallons) that’ll go out to different people.”

You’re also being asked to dump your yard waste into the same green bins.

“These bins are designed to be picked up by sanitation vehicles. Those old round ones will not be used anymore,” Wear explains.

As for what type of food to dump? Well, banana peels and watermelon core, rice, beans, bones, bread, cheese, even paper towels are all ok. Just nothing that has cleaning spray or other hazards. That includes no human or pet waste. And, definitely no bags, even if they say compostable on them.

“We could end up with thousands of tons of green organic matter diverted from our landfill,” Wear says. This could mean 4 to 11 pounds less going into our landfills per household per week. “That’s the goal to prevent methane from being released and support our climate action plan.”

In 2016, voters approved a bill to require the entirety of the state of California to recycle organic waste.

San Diego was going start in summer of 2022, but the city says they were dealing with supply chain and manufacturing delays as they waited on new trucks which, along with these bins, will also roll out in January.

Sanitation workers will take the green bins to the Miramar Landfill where they won’t use your typical compost system complete with worms. Instead, it’ll be a tarped over, but aerated system that will prevent methane from spewing into our atmosphere. Something Wear says has been years in the making.

The end result will be free composted soil, turning our waste into valuable nourishment for plants. A full circle concept taking food and plants and eventually using them to create more.

It’ll take at least six months to roll out all of the more than 260,000 bins. The city expects people who use their services to have a green bin and kitchen pail by July 2023.

You’ll start to get mailers a few weeks before the bins arrive to your street.

If you’d like to change the size of your bin, you can request a change in the “Get it Done” app.

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