Residential Food Scrap Collection Pilot


California is the first state to requirCopy of DSC_0056 (1)e mandatory food scrap diversion from residents and businesses by January 2022 (SB1383). Cities throughout the state are in the stages of developing an implementation plan to tackle organic disposal. By 2025, cities must reduce 75% of landfilled organic waste and increase edible food recovery by 20%. These initiatives are aligned to meet California’s goal of a 40% methane reduction by 2030.

The good news is that organic food scrap collection services continue expanding in Watsonville. In 2019, a total of 830 tons of organic food waste was diverted from the landfill from local Watsonville businesses. Extending this service to residents was the next step towards meeting the state’s environmental goals. Our Solid Waste Division strategically selected two pilot sites to implement a Residential Food Scrap Collection Pilot Program and collection services began on November 10, 2020. 

If you would like more information about the pilot or would like additional support, please contact us. Our team is available to answer your questions and concerns.

Food Scrap Collections Videos - English


Videos de Recoleccion de Restos de Comida


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of food are accepted in my green food scrap bin?
All types of solid food scraps, including:

  • vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • animal bones from cooking
  • Eggshells 
  • Bread
  • Food leftovers, including fast food, and takeout food
  • Candy or sweets
  • coffee grounds and paper coffee filters
  • tea bags (with the metal staple removed)

What can’t I put in my green food scrap bin?

  • Liquids such as milk, water, oil, soup
  • Garden waste (branches, leaves, grass clippings, etc.)
  • Plastic bags, wrappers, packaging
  • Trash
  • Kitty litter
  • Pet waste

Whom can I contact if I have questions about specific food scrap items?
You can email us at  or call us at (831) 768-3131 for more information on specific items.

What happens to my food scraps after they are collected?
Food scraps are hauled to Monterey County and processed to produce biogas (energy) and compost.

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Click Here to download a printable version of these FAQs.

What types of bags can I use for my kitchen bucket?
Only compostable bags with an ASTM D6400, D6868, and/or Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certification are permitted. 

Will the City be providing compostable liners for my kitchen bucket?
The City will provide a limited quantity of liners at selected Food Scrap Pilot Program locations.

Where can I buy food scrap compostable liners for my bucket?
You can purchase certified compostable liners at Nob Hill Foods, Safeway, Food Maxx, and Target. Please check with your preferred grocer to see if they also carry them. 

How often will my green food scrap cart be picked-up?
Your outdoor cart will be picked-up once a week on your regularly scheduled service day. 

How often should I empty out my kitchen bucket?
We recommend that you empty out your kitchen bucket as necessary to prevent odors in your kitchen.

Do I need to wash my kitchen bucket?
It is recommended that you wash your kitchen bucket every time that you empty it out to prevent odors.

Do I need to wash my outdoor cart?
Rinsing your outdoor green bin is optional.

Do I have to use the kitchen bucket provided?
You may use the kitchen bucket provided or you may collect your food scraps in any other container of your choice. 

Where should I keep my kitchen collections container?
To make kitchen food scrap collection more convenient for you, we recommend finding a place on your kitchen countertop or near your kitchen sink to collect food scraps. Keeping the lid closed will lessen odors and prevent the major formation of flies in your kitchen.

What if my green food scrap cart breaks or does not close?
To report broken or malfunctioning carts, please contact Customer Service at (831) 768-3133.

Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions, you may contact Customer Service at (831) 768-3133.

Questions? Residents can email