Organics (Food and Yard Waste) & Backyard Composting

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The City of Manhattan Beach offers curbside and at-home recycling solutions for yard waste and food waste:    

Curbside Organics Program (Yard and Food Waste)
The green residential curbside Waste Management cart is the "Organics" cart - for food and yard waste.  Manhattan Beach residents can order an Organics cart at no additional charge by calling Waste Management at (310) 830-7100.  Green waste can be placed loosely in the cart.  Food waste should be bagged and placed in the cart.  All food is accepted, even fatty, oily, greasy food. 

The yard waste and food waste is separated at the Transfer Station.  Clean yard waste is used as Agricultural Cover at organic farms, and the food waste is taken to Waste Management's CORe facility in Orange, CA, converted to an Engineered BioSlurry, and transported to the LA County Wastewater Treatment Plant in Carson, CA, placed in an anerobic digester and converted to energy.  Click here to learn more about the City's food waste recycling program.

Yard Waste Recycling Reminders
The program's purpose is to recycle yard or landscaping waste such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches.  Participating in the program is easy!  Just place your green waste into your green organics cart for regular pick up.

Larger pieces of wood waste, tree trunks and branches should not be placed into your cart. Instead, they should be bundled no larger than 2 feet in diameter, 4 feet in length and/or 50 pounds in weight and placed next to the green waste cart for pick up.

No Yucca or Palm, Iceplant, dirt, rock, trash, food, construction debris or animal waste should be placed in the green organics cart.

For additional FREE green organics cart(s) call Waste Management directly at (310) 830-7100.

At-Home Backyard Composting Program
The City also offers a Backyard Composting Program for residents who like to create natural fertilizer for at-home gardens.  For Manhattan Beach residents, there are free backyard composting classes year-round and a discount bin purchase program through the City's hauler, Waste Management.  These bins can be purchased for $35 each at any of the Backyard Composting Classes (cash or check) or year-round by calling Waste Management directly at (310) 830-7100.

2019 Schedule of Backyard Composting Classes
May 4, 2019
July 13, 2019
October 12, 2019

Backyard Composting Workshop Basic Information
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Question and Answer session at the end)
Location: Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden in Polliwog Park (on Peck Avenue, just north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard)

Backyard Composting is a fun and easy way to make great natural fertilizer for your garden!  During the workshops, Manhattan Beach residents may purchase Composting Bins or Worm Composting Bins at a great discount.  The basics of residential food waste recycling, curbside recycling and yard waste recycling will also be covered. 

Can't attend the class?  Manhattan Beach residents may purchase discounted bins year-round by contacting Waste Management directly at (310) 830-7100. Please visit our "links" page for additional compost-related websites to help you. 

Backyard Composting Do's and Don'ts

DO BACKYARD COMPOST:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Egg and nut shells
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags
  • Weeds, leaves and bark
  • Grass and plant trimmings
  • Wood chips, sawdust
  • Wood ashes
  • Bread
  • Tissues and paper towels

DON'T BACKYARD COMPOST:

  • Pet waste
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Bones, animal fat or oil
  • Dairy products
  • Branches (over 1/2" diameter)
  • Crab or Bermuda grass
  • Chemical pesticides
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds that have gone to seed

Green Garden Tip
Your lawn and your grass catcher don’t make such a great couple after all.

It seemed like a good idea at the time: attaching a grass catcher to your mower. But, as it turns out, leaving those clippings over the lawn is actually better for the lawn, the environment, and you.

The process is called grasscycling. And grasscycling is a very common sense thing to do when you stop and think about it. For starters, leaving clippings returns valuable nutrients and organic matter back to the soil. (Besides the nutrient value, grass is 80-85% water, so you get an irrigating effect, too.) And when you grasscycle during the spring and summer months, you can reduce the added expense of organic fertilizers.

Grasscycling has overriding environmental benefits, too - like conserving water and conserving limited landfill space (where do you think all those plastic bags of grass are going anyway?). Also, if you go the extra yard and purchase an electric mulching mower, you’ll also reduce gas fume pollution and eliminate the need to recycle motor oil.

More good news: grasscycling hands you a nifty refund in time and money. Just think - no more bagging, no more schlepping the bags to the curb. Plus, you’ll save on fertilizer, save on water, maybe even save on disposal fees. You can live with that, right?

Now here’s a list of other tips and facts that will help you understand why grasscycling is a simply terrific idea.

SOME EASY WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A BIG DENT IN A BIG PROBLEM:

Did you know that yard clippings are the single largest contributor to California’s municipal waste? In 1990, nearly a decade ago, this amounted to six million tons. Or, 15% of the waste stream. A little perspective: the average California lawn generates about a ton of grass clippings per every 1000 square feet, every year. (Almost as much as a VW bug weighs!). As you can see, grasscycling can make a huge difference. Try this for a change:

  1. Don’t cut more than the top third of grass each time you mow.
  2. Mow every 5-7 days during spring and summer. Grasscycling only takes about half as long as bagging.
  3. Mow your lawn when it’s dry.
  4. Keep your mower blades sharp.
  5. Only 1 inch of water is needed each week (including rainfall), or about 10 minutes of watering for healthy growth in the summer. Your lawn might require a little more or less water. A half-inch per week is enough for fall and spring. Water in the morning.
  6. Apply slow-release fertilizers in the fall and spring for steady growth. Fertilizing in summer means more work for you.
  7. Consider buying an electric mulching mower when it’s time for a new one.

Interested in learning more?

Check out the County Wide Yard Waste Program's website.  It's filled with great information on how to compost and recycle your yard waste.

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