Residential Organics Collection - Food Scraps & Yard Waste  

Residential Organics Collection Program

California's Requirement to Keep Organic Waste Out of Landfills to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution

 The State now requires that organic waste, including food and yard waste, be collected and composted separately from trash and recycling in order to reduce methane gas pollution. By 2025, cities must reduce 75% of the landfilled organic waste and increase edible food recovery by 20%. These initiatives in Senate Bill 1383 are aligned to meet California’s goal of a 40% methane reduction by 2030. In Watsonville, we expect to compost 6,500 tons of organic waste annually. These organics in the landfill would contribute 8% of our annual Watsonville greenhouse gas emissions. By composting organic waste, we are reducing 12,305 metric tons of CO2 equivalent each year.

 Most organics generating businesses and single-family residences now have organics collection service with the city. Residents of most Multifamily Apartment Complexes will have organic service by the end of 2022. We offer Spanish and English outreach and education on organics through direct communication, print, social media, in-person events, schools, and community outreach. Your organics carts will be serviced weekly on your neighborhood’s regular trash pick-up day and sent to an industrial composting facility in Marina. There will be no additional cost for this new service. 

What Goes in the Green Cart?


The green organics cart will now serve as a food and yard waste bin. Here is a visual of some common items that are and are not allowed in the organics bin. If you previously had a yard waste cart, you can now use that as a mixed food waste and yard waste cart. Look under Residential Organics Frequently Asked Questions for more information on what is accepted in the cart or take a look at Watsonville’s Waste Wizard where you can type in any item and discover where it should be disposed of.

How to Keep Your Green Cart Fresh:

  • Put food waste in your cart the night before your service each week

  • Freeze or refrigerate food waste if you have space

  • Leave liquids and raw meat out of green organics carts.

  • When possible, layer your food scraps with yard trimmings and keep a bucket of dry leaves, pine needles, straw, or wood shavings nearby to cover your food scraps. 

  • Rinse your green cart with water when necessary and pour it onto your lawn — never onto the street or down a storm drain (they go directly to our sloughs!).

  • Sprinkle smelly containers with baking soda to neutralize odors

The City will be communicating with you to provide you with any additional informationwe appreciate your patience and cooperation. Contact us at


Questions? Residents can email