How To Get There > Composting policies > Berkeley, California, USA

Berkeley, California, USA

Berkeley, California

Curbside Composting and a Zero Waste Goal

Action(s) Taken

  • Composting policies
  • Zero Waste goals & plans



Overview of Composting Requirements

In 2007 the City of Berkeley expanded its weekly yard waste collection to include food scraps. Residents can place all food scraps, yard debris, soiled paper and compostable plastics in their green cart. The city was driven by its goal of reaching Zero Waste by 2020 and its climate action goal to reduce emissions 33% from 2000 levels by 2020.

Residents receive a 32 or 64 gallon green cart as part of their standard trash service. The green carts, recycling carts, and trash carts are all picked up weekly.

Berkeley has an agreement with its compost processor, Recology/Grover, to return up to 5% of processed organics tons back to the community as finished compost. The compost is used by the city’s parks department, distributed to over 30 community and school gardens, and is available for free residential pick-up.

Berkeley is the only Alameda County municipality to provide municipal waste collection for the residential and commercial sectors. The city owns and operates a transfer station that processes refuse, recycling, and approximately 34,000 tons of yard waste and food waste per year.

Learn More About Curbside Composting in Berkeley, California


Overview of Zero Waste Goal

Berkeley’s Zero Waste goal aims for 75% recovery by 2010 and Zero Waste by 2020. The city’s climate action plan also calls for Zero Waste.

The Zero Waste resolution emphasizes local community infrastructure, services and jobs, particularly around repair, remanufacturing, upgrading, reprocessing and re-crafting. The city already had 275 “good green-collar jobs” in at least 65 local companies.

Food waste and recyclable items are collected from commercial customers by the city, which also provides weekly organics collection (yard debris and food scraps) for residents. The Ecology Center provides weekly recycling for residents in carts split for containers and paper products.

The Zero Waste resolution recommended changing the name of the solid waste commission, and it became the Zero Waste commission. The Zero Waste commission makes recommendations on city solid waste policy and goals, including commercial and residential garbage, recycling services, and budgets.

Learn More About Berkeley’s Zero Waste Goal

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