December 28, 2022 2:51 PM
by Yvonne Yeung
On January 1, 2022, the City implemented a new law requiring all people living and working in Santa Monica to recycle organics (i.e. formerly living organisms). The City’s zero waste goal is to reduce landfill disposal to 1.1 pounds per person per day (PPD) by 2030. Currently, we are at 3.5 PPD. By moving recyclable materials out of the black landfill trash containers and into the blue and green containers, more recyclables will get a second life, and we can get closer to that goal.
Non-organics recycling is already required, and every property should have access to three containers: black for landfilled trash, blue for non-organics recyclables, and green for organics. The Resource, Recovery and Recycling (RRR) Division is delivering green organics containers to all properties without one, starting with the Ocean Park and Sunset Park areas and moving south to north through the rest of the neighborhoods.
Knowing what material goes in which container can be confusing, especially as information changes. Manufacturers also label products Biodegradable, Compostable, or Recyclable without knowing if materials can be recycled locally. Mixing non-recyclable items in the blue and green containers causes contamination, and it might lead to otherwise recyclable materials being sent to the landfill so please use this list as a guide.
GREEN CONTAINER ‒ ORGANICS (I.E. IF IT WAS ONCE ALIVE)
- Food scraps
- Yard cuttings
- Food-soiled paper (paper towels/napkins; paper plates/ bowls; paper straws; uncoated paper takeout containers)
- Nature fiber or 100% wood/bamboo service ware and cutleries (bamboo forks and knives, disposable chopsticks, wooden coffee stirrers)
- Use paper bags or newspaper, or freeze/refrigerate food scraps until collection day
- Layer food scraps with landscape cuttings to absorb moisture and odor
- Fruit and vegetable stickers or twist ties
- Plastic food containers • Pet waste or diapers
- Bioplastics that claimed to be "compostable at a commercial facility"
BLUE CONTAINER ‒ NON-ORGANICS RECYCLABLES
- Clean and dry metal cans and aluminum cans
- Clean aluminum foil
- Clean and dry glass bottles/containers and plastic bottles/containers with the recycling numbers 1, 2, or 5
- Flattened cardboard boxes
- If you collect recyclables in a plastic bag, dump contents in the blue container; reuse the bag or put in trash
- Liquids or food residue
- Plastic bags or thin plastic wrappings
- Styrofoam, bubble wraps, or packaging materials
- "Wishcycling" of items not listed in the
BLACK CONTAINER ‒ LANDFILLED TRASH
- All items that are not listed in the YES lists above
- Organics (recycle in green container)
- Non-organics recyclables (recycle in blue container)
Please help keep Santa Monica clean and safe by not engaging in illegal dumping. Your neighbors will thank you! Consider donating unused items instead of discarding them. Each household gets three annual complimentary pick-ups by contacting 3-1-1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Request a complimentary door-to-door collection appointment by scanning this QR code, or call (800) 714-1195.
For more information, visit santamonica.gov, keyword recycling.
Resource Recovery and Recycling Administrator