Commercial Services

Organic Recycling

EDI’s New Organics Recycling Program will Collect Food Scraps and Landscape Waste Mixed Together in a Green Organics Container

Recyclable Organics Includes
  • grass clippings
  • brush
  • weeds
  • hedge trimmings
  • branches
  • leaves
  • palm fronds
  • ice plant (in small amounts only due to weight)
  • ivy
  • flowers
  • Halloween pumpkins
  • Christmas trees (NO flocked trees)
  • untreated and non-lead based painted wood
  • food scraps
  • food-soiled paper

Place recyclable organics directly into your designated green collection container. Do not use any kind of plastic bags (including certified compostable or biodegradable bags) for any type of green waste, food waste, or other organics collection or disposal, as they contaminate the Anaerobic Digester! All organic material must be placed loosely inside the green container for collection. Paper bags are acceptable.

Please do not place any of the following materials in your designated green organics recycling container:

  • No plastic bags.
  • No trash or hazardous waste.
  • No animal waste.
  • No dirt, rocks, asphalt, concrete, sand, etc.
  • No treated or lead-based painted wood or lumber.

Organic Waste

Organic waste is a renewable natural resource, and it mainly comes from yard and kitchen waste from homes, food waste, and industrial and commercial operations scraps. Mandatory recycling of organic waste is the next step to achieving California’s Zero Waste goals.

Recycling organics will be easy and convenient with EDI’s commingled Organics Recycling program. EDI has expanded its source-separated green waste collection to include recycling food waste. The service will allow customers to place food scraps in the same container as green waste. EDI’s new Organics Recycling program will be a foundation for your community to achieve State mandates, including AB 1826, AB 1594, and SB 1383, which are directly related to organics recycling in the State of California.

EDI’s Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Since 1967, family-owned and operated EDI has had a long-standing commitment to reducing impacts on the environment through innovation. EDI’s state-of-the-art AD Facility began serving customers in early 2021, assisting your community to be in full compliance with State Mandates and keeping us On the Road to Zero Waste.

EDI’s Anaerobic Digestion Facility

AD is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials such as food waste, green waste, fats, oils, and greases. Anaerobic digestion happens in closed spaces where there is no oxygen.

Recycling organics will be easy and convenient with EDI’s commingled organics recycling program. EDI has expanded the source-separated green waste collection to include the recycling of food waste. The service allows customers to place food scraps in the same container as green waste. EDI’s AD Facility is a foundation for your community to achieve State mandates, including AB 1826, AB 1594, and SB 1383, which are directly related to organics recycling in the State of California.

EDI’s Anaerobic Digestion and Food Waste Recycling Videos

To learn more about EDI’s new AD Facility and Organics Recycling Program and how they will significantly impact the future of organic waste, please watch our informative videos.

Why Recycle Food Waste?

Organic waste accounts for over 40% of the material in California’s waste stream. Organic material cannot break down when buried in a landfill, as it would in nature or in a compost pile. Instead, it decomposes without oxygen, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere.

Organic material (food scraps and yard waste) will soon be recycled when placed in green carts and then transported to EDI’s AD Facility, once completed, where it will be converted into renewable natural gas and fertilizer.

What Will Go in the Green Cart

Below are just a few examples of what will be able to be placed in your green organics cart.

Food Scraps

Fruit, vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, eggshells, prepared food

Food-Soiled Paper

Napkins, tea bags, paper plates, coffee filters

Yard Waste

Plants, leaves, branches, grass

What Can You do Now?

In the United States alone, a shocking 40% of food is uneaten, wasted, and discarded. We as consumers are the largest producers of food waste, believe it or not, exceeding grocery stores and restaurants combined! So, the smallest changes add up and make a huge difference. San Diego Food System Alliance is leading an initiative across San Diego County to reduce food waste and increase food donations to people. By visiting their website, at sdfsa.org/savethefoodsd/, residents can find information on food recovery throughout the county, food donation guides, and resources.

AB 827 – California’s Commercial Recycling and Organics Container Mandate

Effective July 1, 2020, MCR and MORe covered businesses must provide organics and recycling containers for customers to collect waste generated from products purchased and consumed on the premises (AB 827, McCarty). These containers must be placed adjacent to the trash and be visible, easily accessible, and clearly marked.

AB 827 requirements were added to existing AB 341 and AB 1826 requirements. The new law, passed in 2019, builds off existing requirements under these two laws.

  • This law targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption.
  • Full-service restaurants do not have to provide properly labeled containers for patrons but must provide properly labeled containers next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.

AB 1826 – California’s Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling Mandate

In October 2014, California adopted Assembly Bill 1826, requiring all businesses to recycle their organic waste beginning April 1, 2016. This mandate’s phase-in helps California achieve its overall waste diversion (75% by 2020) and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Requirements for Businesses:
Businesses, including public entities, that generate organic waste (food or green waste) are required to arrange for organic waste recycling services. See Implementation Dates below.

Business Organic Waste Includes:

Food, including but not limited to: fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, and pasta; coffee filters, tea bags, cut flowers, and herbs.

Green Waste, including but not limited to: grass clippings, brush, weeds, hedge trimmings, leaves, palm fronds, ice plant, ivy, and nonhazardous wood, like branches, untreated wood, and clean wood waste.

Compostable Paper, including but not limited to uncoated paper that is soiled with liquid or solid food waste, like napkins, paper towels, tissues, paper plates, and paper cups.

Requirements for Multi-family Properties: Multi-family properties of 5 units or more are required to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Multi-family Organic Waste Includes:

Green Waste, including but not limited to: grass clippings, brush, weeds, hedge trimmings, leaves, palm fronds, ice plant, ivy, and nonhazardous wood, like branches, untreated wood, and clean wood waste.

Implementation Dates:

April 1, 2016, Businesses generating eight cubic yards per week of organics and multi-family properties of 5 units or more shall arrange for organics recycling service.

January 1, 2017, Businesses generating four cubic yards per week of organics shall arrange for organics recycling service.

January 1, 2019, Businesses generating four cubic yards of commercial solid waste shall arrange for organics recycling service.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 requires all businesses, public entities, and multifamily dwellings with five (5) units or more that generate four (4) cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week to arrange for organics recycling service. The definition of commercial solid waste was further clarified through AB 1398 and included the total amount of trash, recycling, and organics generated weekly.

EDI can conduct free on-site visits to help businesses and multifamily properties comply with the state’s mandatory recycling requirements. Contact our Customer Service office by phone or submit a fast and easy online request by filling out the Contact Us form to arrange organic waste recycling services.

Currently, in San Diego County, there is adequate capacity for recycling landscape and clean wood; however, the infrastructure needed to meet the demand for diverting all food waste is still under development. Therefore, we will be working closely with food waste generating customers through the following tiered approach:

Prevention of Food Waste: First and foremost this helps your business improve your bottom line.

Donation of Edible Food: Nearly one in seven San Diego County residents (approximately 500,000 people annually) do not know where their next meal is coming from. Regionally, almost 500,000 tons of food waste are sent to the landfill. EDI can assist you in setting up systems to donate food to help end hunger throughout San Diego County.

Collection of Non-Edible Food: After all possible means of food waste prevention and donation of edible food have been pursued, the remaining food waste material will be collected for recycling.

Food Waste Prevention

Click here for information on a local Food Rescue Program and Food Bank.

In the United States alone, a shockingly 40% of food is uneaten, wasted, and thrown out. This results in an unfortunate misuse of resources needed to grow, process, and transport food while wasting money and accelerating climate changes. We as consumers are the largest producers of food waste, believe it or not, exceeding the grocery stores and restaurants combined! So, the smallest changes we make add up and make a huge difference. Preventing food waste in the first place typically offers the most significant financial and environmental benefits. Below are some food waste prevention tips from Save The Food:

  • Shop wisely: Plan your meals for the week in advance. Shop with a list. Stick to the list and avoid impulse buys.image
  • Proper portions: Don’t buy or serve more than you need.
  • Love your leftovers: While you’re planning your meals, prepare for nights when you’re likely to go out to eat and when you might have leftovers from earlier meals. Get creative to give leftovers another life. They are the start of a casserole or soup the day after.
  • Freeze it: Frozen food will keep longer. Almost anything can be frozen! But portion out, label and date your food so that it’s easy to serve later.
  • Shop your kitchen before the store: Check the fridge, freezer, and pantry for items that need to get used up before you splurge on new things.
  • Don’t fall for date labels: Food doesn’t immediately spoil as soon as the date on the package has passed. Sell-by, use-by, and best-by dates are generally manufacturers’ suggestions for when an item is likely to be at its peak quality.
  • Spread the word: Engage friends, family, community, and businesses in food-saving practices. Share your favorite tips with your friends and family. Encourage your local restaurants and grocery stores to avoid excessive portions and package sizes, and tell them it is ok if they run out of an item at the end of the day (so that they can avoid over-purchasing). Teach kids to value food and not to waste it.

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