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Yes, this ordinance applies to all food service providers, meaning any business, vendor, organization, entity, group or individual, including retail food establishments, located in the City of Watsonville that offers food or beverages to the public.
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○ Prohibited sales and use of plastic foam (Styrofoam) products. This includes all food service ware, as well as coolers, containers, ice chests, shipping boxes, pool or beach toys, packing peanuts or other packaging materials, etc.
○ Prohibited use and distribution of straws, unless specifically requested. No straws provided shall be wrapped in plastic.
○ All disposable food-service ware (take-out and dine-in) is required to be compostable and clearly labeled with the BPI compostable logo (as defined by ASTM standards).
○ Self-bussing food service vendors must provide three color-coded bins clearly labeled for food scraps (green), recyclables (blue), and garbage (black).
○ Required $0.10 customer charge for single-use cups to encourage the use of reusable cups and bottles. Customers with EBT and WIC cards are exempt from the charge.
○ Charges for single-use cups shall be clearly identified pre-sale for the customer on any ordering platforms and identified separately on any post-sale receipt.
○ The $0.10 customer disposable cup charge goes directly back to the business
Beginning January 1, 2022, all disposable foodware products must be certified compostable as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or as defined by the City of Watsonville’s Organics processing contract for disposal. When you buy a product labeled "compostable," look for the BPI compostable logo, this has been certified ASTM. To learn more and/or to find certified compostable food-service ware products that meet ordinance requirements visit this site https://bpiworld.org/ or click here.
As of August 8, 2019, it is prohibited the sale and use of all plastic foam (Styrofoam) foodware. After January 1, 2021, disposable plastic food-service ware products are prohibited for take-out and dine-in. This includes, but not limited to: all food containers, clamshells, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, stirrers, forks, spoons, knives, and other items designed for one (1) time use for prepared foods, including, without limitation, service ware for eat-in and take-out foods and/or leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food providers.
Check with your preferred local vendor to see if they carry these products. If not, encourage your vendor to carry them. Below is a list of nearby vendors that sell certified compostable foodware and other products that meet ordinance requirements. Remember to ask for the BPI Compostable logo. To find other certified compostable food-service ware products that meet ordinance requirements visit this site https://bpiworld.org/ or click here.
Click this link to see a list of the local wholesale vendor of compostable products in Watsonville.
Compostable food service ware must go into the garbage bin (never in the recycling bin).
All compostable products should be disposed of in the garbage bin and never in the recycling bin.
The $0.10 customer disposable cup charge goes directly back to the business.
This charge is to help change consumer behavior towards bringing reusable cups since single-use cups create unnecessary waste and pollute our environment. This charge is also to support the businesses in moving over to the more sustainable option of compostable cups (and food service ware in general).
No. All of the customer cup charges go directly back to the business.
Yes! It is encouraged that customers choose re-usable options for many single-use items, including cups. This is a critical part of meeting the new challenges in the world of recycling and garbage. Fewer and fewer products are recyclable. Reducing single-use products also helps keep litter off the streets and from entering our storm drains which lead to our waterways. Additionally, it helps prevent carbon emissions which contribute to climate change. Every single-use product must be manufactured, shipped, and then disposed of which takes energy to produce and then to transport. By choosing reusable cups, bags, water bottles, and more supports efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Yes, all customers demonstrating, at the point of sale, a payment card or voucher issued by the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or an Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT) are exempt from the single-use cup charge.
California Assembly Bill 619 was passed in July 2019 and explicitly allows reusable food containers to be refilled by either the owner/operator of a food facility or the consumer. Consumers may supply their own reusable containers. Facilities may accept returned containers from consumers for reuse.
The City of Watsonville will be working with the businesses during the transition. If a business does not show progress towards the ordinance after the enforcement period begins, the City of Watsonville may enforce the provisions of this chapter under Municipal Code Chapter 1-2.
We recognize that every business has different space constraints and limitations. The City of Watsonville offers assistance in getting your three-bin waste stream system set up so that you can successfully meet the requirements. Please contact Customer Service at 768-3131 to schedule a site visit.
For more information, please contact Public Works Customer Service at 768-3133.
City of Watsonville residents can drop off recyclables, yard waste, and extra garbage at the Waste and Recycling Drop-off. Use this facility to dispose of occasional extra materials that do not fit in your recycling or garbage cart. Loads must be covered with a tarp. This service is available for residents of the City of Watsonville only. Address verification will be required. Wastes generated outside Watsonville city limits are not accepted.
The Waste and Recycling Drop-Off is open: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday
State law and local ordinance requires recycling and trash service for all businesses without real physical space restrictions. Businesses that make over 2 yards of trash weekly and over 20 gallons of organic waste OR under 2 yards of trash weekly and over 10 gallons of organics a week must subscribe to organics collection service by calling customer service at 831.768.3133.
Business Organics Collection Web Page
Green Organics Bins are collected weekly on the same day as trash collection. Comingle food and yard waste in the bin with a green lid.
Blue Recycling Bins are collected every other week on a schedule.
Gray Trash Bins are collected weekly by schedule
Commercial Trash/Recycling/Organics Container Service depends on your scheduled day of service. Refer to your schedule or call 831.768.3133 to inquire.
Businesses shall charge $.25 per single-use plastic bag or 40% recycled paper bag to encourage the use of reusable bags (municipal code sec. 6-7). This does not apply to take-out food, produce, WIC, or State Food Stamp recipients. Bag charge documentation is required. Read the full Single-Use Plastic Carryout ordinance here.