Residential Organics Collection (Food Scraps & Yard Waste)  

Residential Organics Collection Program

California is the first state to requirCopy of DSC_0056 (1)e mandatory food scrap diversion from residents and businesses by January 2022 (SB1383). Cities throughout the state are in the stages of developing an implementation plan to tackle organic disposal (yard waste and food scraps). By 2025, cities must reduce 75% of landfilled organic waste and increase edible food recovery by 20%. These initiatives are aligned to meet California’s goal of a 40% methane reduction by 2030.

The good news is that organic (food scrap) collection services continue expanding in Watsonville. In 2019, a total of 830 tons of organic food waste was diverted from the landfill from local Watsonville businesses. 

Extending this service to residents is the next step towards meeting the State’s environmental goals. Our Solid Waste Division strategically selected two pilot sites to implement a Residential Food Scrap Collection Pilot Program and collection services began on November 10, 2020. Over time, we have been adding more sites until we are able to extend this service for all residents.


Food Scrap Collections Videos - English


Videos de Recoleccion de Restos de Comida


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of food are accepted in my green organics bin?
All types of solid food scraps and yard waste, including:

  • vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • animal bones from cooking
  • Eggshells 
  • Bread
  • Food leftovers, including fast food, and takeout food
  • Candy or sweets
  • coffee grounds and paper coffee filters
  • tea bags (with the metal staple removed)
  • Garden waste (branches, leaves, grass clippings, etc.)

What can’t I put in my green food scrap bin?

  • Liquids such as milk, water, oil, soup
  • Plastic bags, wrappers, packaging
  • Trash
  • Kitty litter
  • Pet waste

Whom can I contact if I have questions about specific organic waste items?
You can email us at  or call us at (831) 768-3131 for more information on specific items.

What happens to my food scraps and yard waste after they are collected?
Organic waste is hauled to Monterey County and processed to produce biogas (energy) and compost.

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What types of bags can I use for my kitchen bucket?
Please do not place plastic bags nor biodegrable bags in the green organics bin.  

How often will my green food scrap cart be picked-up?
Your outdoor cart will be picked-up once a week on your regularly scheduled service day. 

How often should I empty out my kitchen bucket?
We recommend that you empty out your kitchen bucket as necessary to prevent odors in your kitchen.

Do I need to wash my kitchen bucket?
It is recommended that you wash your kitchen bucket every time that you empty it out to prevent odors.

Do I need to wash my outdoor cart?
Rinsing your outdoor green bin is optional. If you choose to do so, please do not empty dirty water down your driveway or sidewalk. 

Do I have to use the kitchen bucket provided?
You may use the kitchen bucket provided or you may collect your food scraps in any other container of your choice. 

Where should I keep my kitchen collections container?
To make kitchen food scrap collection more convenient for you, we recommend finding a place on your kitchen countertop or near your kitchen sink to collect food scraps. Keeping the lid closed will lessen odors and prevent the major formation of flies in your kitchen.

What if my green food scrap cart breaks or does not close?
To report broken or malfunctioning carts, please contact Customer Service at (831) 768-3133.

Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions, you may contact Customer Service at (831) 768-3133.

Questions? Residents can email