Food Waste Recycling Program

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On July 7, 2015, after completing the Proposition 218 process, the Manhattan Beach City Council approved a solid waste fee increase and a contract amendment with Waste Management to offer a permanent food waste recycling program to the community. The new permanent food waste program is based on the successful commercial and residential pilot program in the City which began in July 2012. Food waste recycling is available to ALL residents and businesses in the City, and all are encouraged to participate.  Food waste recycling reduces the amount of waste that Manhattan Beach sends to the landfill, and contributes to the creation of renewable energy in the South Bay.

Residential Food Waste Program:

Follow these three easy steps to participate in the food waste recycling program!

  1. Put all food scraps into a bag
    • Reuse a bread, tortilla, packaging bag, or use biodegradable or decomposable bags!  The facility can accept any type of plastic bag.
  2. When the liner is full, tie off the top of the bag securely
  3. Place the bag containing the food waste into your green waste cart

Waste Management provides kitchen pails to residents to make the collection of food waste as easy as possible.

Commercial Food Waste Program:

For commercial customers, Waste Management will conduct a site visit and setup a custom collection system best suited for the individual business.  Please contact Waste Management Customer Service at (310) 830-7100 or email to request a food waste program site visit.  This program will provide compliance for any business required to participate under AB 1826Click here for more information about AB 1826.

 The City wishes to thank the businesses currently participating in the Food Waste Recycling Program and encourage all businesses in the city to sign up.


Frequently Asked Questions:

When did this program begin?

The residential program began on September 1, 2015.  Kitchen pails distributed to residents between September 14 - 25, 2015. 

The commercial program began on August 1, 2015.  Because the commercial program is established based on the businesses needs, interested participants should contact Waste Management Customer Service at (310) 830-7100 or email to request a food waste program site visit.

What happens to the food waste?
The food waste is collected at the curb and taken to Waste Management’s CORe food waste recycling facility in Orange, CA.  The CORe technology converts food waste into an Engineered Bioslurry (EBS).  The Engineered Bioslurry is used to generate energy at the Los Angeles County Sanitation District facility in Carson, CA. As of fall 2015, the CORe facility processes 40 tons of food waste into renewable biogas each day; enough renewable energy to power more than 300 homes. Every ton of food waste that is recycled through the CORe process equates to the removal of about 30 cars from our roadways.

Do I have to participate in food waste collection?
The program is not subscription-based, so the rate change affects all residents and businesses.  The program is now part of the monthly base rate.  As with other curbside programs such as recycling, green waste, bulky-item pick-up, At Your Door hazardous waste pick-up, etc., residents can choose not to participate even though the program is included as part of the base rate. 

All commercial businesses are encouraged to participate in organics recycling (i.e. recycling of food and green waste), and some required to participate beginning January 1, 2016, to meet the State mandate of AB 1826.

More information on the rates for the new program are available on the City's Utility Billing website, and in the Proposition 218 letter that was sent to all rate payers (PDF) on May 21, 2015.

I don't want to use the kitchen pail.
That is okay!  The kitchen pail is provided to residents as a courtesy.  Just like having a small trash can in the kitchen, the kitchen pail is offered as a storage solution.  Some residents, however, prefer to take all bags of material straight from the kitchen to their curbside carts.  The most important element is placing the tied-off plastic bag containing food scraps in the green waste cart.   

Why are residents asked to dispose of their food waste in plastic-type bags?

Food has a high water content and using anything other than plastic does not work or hold the moisture without breaking apart. The facility can accept any plastic-type bag and most are converted along with the food waste into the Engineered BioSlurry.

As far as the bags themselves, we encourage residents to reuse bags already in the home such as a bread, tortilla or packaging bag; residents can also purchase biodegradable or decomposable bags. Many residents already place food scraps in a kitchen trash bag - just place that bag of food scraps in the green cart instead of the gray cart. Providing a program which can divert all food scraps from the landfill is extremely valuable. We feel the net environmental benefits of the industrial food waste program significantly outweigh the use of bags for this purpose.  Just remember, you get to choose your bag - reuse a bag or purchase biodegradable or decomposable bags if you can!

What if I don't have a (green) organic waste cart?
Residents can acquire a 35, 65, or 95 gallon green waste cart by contacting Waste Management customer service at (310) 830-7100. 

I live in the Sand Section and I cannot accommodate a green waste cart.  What can I do to participate?

Residents who do not have the space for a regular green cart have found one of the following options successful in order to participate:

  1. Pair up with a neighbor who already has a (green) organics cart or has the space to acquire an organics cart. We’ve heard from residents who are recycling their food waste together!
  2. Obtain an 18 gallon green cart (no charge). Waste Management has a supply of smaller, 18 gallon green carts to accommodate properties with spatial challenges. Contact Angelica Dulce at (310) 924-0402 to order.  

Take a look at Manhattan Beach's Food Waste Recycling Newsletter (PDF) for more information on the food waste recycling process and how to participate. If you have any questions about your food waste recycling containers, or how to participate in the program, please email Waste Management.




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