Organics Collection Cart Delivery Starts on Monday, June 20



(from city of Davis press release) – The carts are coming!

The current system of collecting yard material loose in the street is changing to a hybrid system of yard material piles and organics carts. Once the Organics Collection Program begins in July, all residents and businesses in Davis will have access to food scrap recycling service through Davis Waste Removal.

Organics collection carts will be delivered to all customers (residents, apartment communities and businesses) starting on Monday, June 20.  Organics collection service will start the week of July 11. Organics carts will be serviced once per week, on the same day as residential trash and recycling service.

Davis has a goal of diverting 75% of its waste from the landfill by 2020. Currently, Davis diverts 64% of its waste. The City is looking to the organics program as a way to boost waste diversion and get closer to the 75% goal.

The organics cart will be used for collecting food scraps, food soiled-paper, and yard trimmings. Examples of acceptable materials include fruits and vegetables, meat, bones, eggshells, milk cartons, paper towels, paper plates, coffee grounds and filters, yard trimmings and much, much more. “If it grows, it goes!” says Jennifer Gilbert, Conservation Coordinator for the City of Davis.

Organics carts will be delivered to the curb at each single-family residence and a kitchen food scrap pail will be delivered to the doorstep of each residence. Each kitchen pail will have a flier inside with detailed information about what can go in the organics cart. Kitchen food scrap pails are also available for apartment residents. City staff will work directly with the property managers to deliver the pails to multi-family properties.

Apartment, multi-family, and non-restaurant commercial customers will receive a 95-gallon organics cart that will be serviced once a week. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial customers with large amounts of food scraps will receive a 65-gallon food scrap cart that will be picked up twice a week.

“We have heard a lot of concern from residents that think the yard trimming piles are going away,” says Mayor Dan Wolk. “That’s not the case.  The Organics Collection Program will include on-street pick-up of yard trimmings. This program is a hybrid—a meeting in the middle between residents who do not want the on-street pile pick-up and the residents who do.”

As part of the organics collection program, the on-street yard material piles will be picked-up once per month (during the week of the first Monday of each month) AND every week during the leaf-drop season (beginning the third Monday in October through mid-December). In order to prevent yard material piles from sitting in the street all week long, piles may not be placed in the street more than 5 days before a scheduled pick-up.

The last week of the current weekly yard material pile service will be the week of June 27.  The new once-a-month yard material pile pick-up service will begin the week of July 4, 2016.

To make it easier to remember when the next scheduled yard material pile collection will be, the City is sending out a mailer in the coming weeks that will have a calendar magnet with the 2016 collection schedule. The City’s recycling website,, also has neighborhood pick-up schedules available. Customers can download a calendar that shows their collection days and the days when they are allowed to place piles out in the street—a handy tool to give to your landscaper.

There will be a few other changes in yard material pile collection as well. Leaves and grass will not be allowed in yard material piles unless the organics cart is already full. “The organics cart should become the default location for all yard clippings,” says John Geisler, General Manager at Davis Waste Removal. “Yard material piles can be used for excess materials that will not fit in the organics cart.”

There are some areas of town that will not have yard material pile collection service after June 30. Yard material piles will not be allowed in the downtown core area (the area bounded by 5th Street, the south side of 1st Street, the west side of B Street and the Union Pacific railroad tracks). Yard material piles will not be permitted on streets where they will block the bike lane. There will be no yard material pile collection service in the Cannery development.

The City is proposing an adjusted rate for these customers that do not have access to yard material collection service due to City’s regulations. This item is scheduled to go to City Council for approval on June 21.

Customers with excess yard trimmings that can’t fit in the organics cart have options available.  Yard materials can be stored onsite and placed in the organics cart each week or saved until the next on-street pile collection day.  Customers can also request additional organics carts for $4.98 per month. Customers may also contact Davis Waste Removal for a special pick-up of yard material piles (fees apply and will be based on the volume, size, and type of yard material), ask a landscaper to haul away trimmings or ask a neighbor if they have space in their organics cart.

A common concern is that the organics program will create odor and pest issues. The organics program should not create any new odor or pest issues. “DWR is already collecting these materials every week. We are only asking customers to place them into a different cart,” says Gilbert. “Right now, customers typically place food scraps and other wastes into plastic bags to keep their trash carts clean and pest free. There are simple ways to achieve the same ends with the organics cart.”

Plastic bags cannot be used in the organics carts. Instead, customers are encouraged to use compostable bags or paper bags for their food scraps. Customers can also collect food scraps in an empty milk or ice cream carton, which can then be placed in the organics cart for composting.  “Placing yard materials, cardboard or newspapers at the bottom of the organics cart is another great way to keep your organics cart clean,” says Gilbert. “Waiting to add the food scraps to your cart until just before collection will also help.” The City’s recycling website has a list of tips and tricks to avoid odors when collecting food scraps.

Composting is not new in Davis. Many restaurants and grocery stores in Davis have already been collecting food scraps for composting for 5 years.

The City continues to host community meetings to discuss the Organics Collection Program and answer questions the next scheduled meetings will be Tuesday, June 21 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Game Room at the Veterans Memorial Center and Tuesday, June 28 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Game Room at the Davis Senior Center.  These meetings will include a short presentation on the details of the Organics Program and a question and answer session. Additional community meetings will be scheduled in the coming months.

The City has detailed information about the Organics Collection Program, including a series of web videos, fliers, downloadable yard material pile collection schedules and more at


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

47 thoughts on “Organics Collection Cart Delivery Starts on Monday, June 20”

  1. hpierce

    Well, look at the economic development aspects… if food waste must be placed in paper bags, or compostable bags, that means local stores can sell more paper bags @ ten cents a shot (where their cost is much less), and although plastic bags will have lesser sales, the much higher cost (and profit margin) compostable bags will add additional economic vitality and taxes.  Great concept!

    [We compost nearly 90% of our scrap food wastes already, but will now have to pay additional fees for the new system… the new program provides a great incentive to continue to do so]

    1. darelldd

      No. The cost is not changing as far as I’m aware. That’s what was agreed to at council long ago, at least.

      Neighbors don’t have to turn on anybody. It is just a matter of enforcement. Same as parking in the right place at the right time.

  2. rwx

    So complicated, expensive, and unwieldy that people will just put the yard waste into the trash container.  Some people will do this as a matter of convenience, others as an act of resistance to the social engineers.

    1. South of Davis

      rwx wrote:

      > So complicated, expensive, and unwieldy that people will just

      > put the yard waste into the trash container.

      I know a guy that put his cans and paper in to the big black trash bin so he would only have to roll one bin back and forth to the street every week, but his Davis neighbors “shamed” him in to recycling.  I suspect the same thing will happen with the new organic bins.


    2. darelldd

      Complicated: Put stuff that was once alive in the new bin. Garbage in the garbage bin. Recyclables in the recycle bin.

      Expensive: Same cost as previous system.

      Unwieldy: The carts all have wheels on them. Today I use my own wheeled cart just to move my debris from the yard to the curb. It’ll be nice to avoid having to then dump it in the street.


      Yes there will forever be lazy, inconsiderate people who don’t give a damn. We can’t fix that, unfortunately. I already know people who consistently put their green waste in the trash purely for aesthetic reasons: They don’t like how the piles look on the street. It may be that those people are the easy ones to convert at least! Though I’ve already heard those exact people complaining about this new bin already….

      1. rwx

        “Expensive: Same cost as previous system.”  No.  The new system requires containers, and requires us to maintain both a container pickup system and a street pickup system.

        “Unwieldy: The carts all have wheels on them.”  The carts may be wheeldy, but the unwieldy part is fitting a large volume of yard waste into the container.  Look at the large piles of yard waste out for pickup, and then visualize that in terms of 95-gal containers. The city needs to amend the ordinance to order my loquat tree to shed leaves only in the fall.  There’s a technical term for deciduous plants that shed at other times of the year. Marcescent?  Don Shor will know.

        1. Don Shor

          Marcescent trees are deciduous species which hold their leaves without dropping late into the winter, dropping them finally when they are blown off by storms or when new growth comes on in spring. Example: Pin oak. Then there are broad-leaved evergreens, which have light leaf drop year around and tend to have a period of heavy leaf drop as new growth flushes. Examples: Magnolia grandiflora, loquat, cork oak. And conifers such as redwoods and pines drop steadily year-round.
          Heaviest leaf drop of properly deciduous trees here is November into early December. Dormant pruning season is generally January to mid-February. Spring and fall cleanups are usually common in March and October. Small landscape and garden services are going to have some trouble adapting to these new rules.

        2. Matt Williams

          rwx, for 15 years I lived with a green can and no regular claw pickup.  It really was painless.  Fitting a large volume of yard waste into the container is very easy.  All you need is a step ladder that you position so you can climb up the ladder, step into the green can on top of the yard waste you have filled it with and the waste is compacted down into a fraction of its original size . . . eliminating the air pockets between the leaves and twigs.  With the yard wast compacted you step out of the green can onto the ladder and descend.  You can repeat that process a half dozen times before the can becomes truly full.

        3. Matt Williams

          News flash for Barack Pailin

          Philadelphia made history yesterday when it became the first major U.S. city to pass a tax on sugary drinks and artificially sweetened drinks. Big Soda had spent big bucks on ads to sway public opinion against the tax.

        4. darelldd

          >> No. The new system requires containers, and requires us to maintain both a container pickup system and a street pickup system. <<

          Yes. Maintain in this case means “leave parked” most of the month. The container pickup requires one truck to be running. The loose piles require two, along with the associated fuel and two paid drivers

          >> the unwieldy part is fitting a large volume of yard waste into the container. <<

          Ah. I have great confidence that the smart people of Davis will figure this out and adapt – just as the rest of the cities CA have done already. Telling me how complicated all of this is, is a tough sell. I came from a Bay Area town 20 years ago that already had organics cart pickup. And at that time, my yard was twice the size it is now.

  3. Barack Palin

    Will DWR be charging more for the new service?

    Unless neighbor turns on neighbor be ready for piles sitting on the streets for weeks at a time.

    1. darelldd

      No. The cost is not changing as far as I’m aware. That’s what was agreed to at council long ago, at least.

      Neighbors don’t have to turn on anybody. It is just a matter of enforcement the same as parking in the right place at the right time.

  4. ryankelly

    I already divert my organic kitchen waste to a compost pile in the yard.  Yard work is done in one or two massive clean ups per year, so will likely just continue to use the curb.  Maybe the bin will be useful for storage of some kind.  Green waste bin hacks anyone?


    1. darelldd

      Even the bones, meat, fish, cheese, citrus peels and paper products go in your yard compost pile? I generate many, many pounds of citrus a few times per year. No way it’ll compost in those quantities. That’s all been going in my trash, and I can’t wait to have some place to proper to put it!

  5. Ron

    Overall, this will provide an opportunity for everyone to (easily) compost their kitchen waste.  I hope that everyone (who isn’t already composting) takes advantage of this.  (I already compost my kitchen waste.)

    The only suggestion I have would be to continue the weekly street pickups through the dormant season (or at least through the end of January – which would add about 3 more weekly pickups per year).  That’s when heavy pruning occurs.  (If cost is a concern, I’d suggest starting the weekly pickups later, during the fall season.  For the most part, leaves should fit in the cart.)

    I find it kind of amusing that the Cannery won’t have weekly pickups.  When you essentially don’t have a yard, who needs weekly pickups?  Saves water, too!  (But, perhaps not a truly appealing “solution”, for those who appreciate having a yard.)


      1. Ron

        Weekly pickups should correspond with the dormant season, when pruning actually occurs.  (Pruning generally occurs during December – February.)  Leaves will fit in the cart.

        1. darelldd

          Great point, Ron. I agree that “leaf drop season” is not when street pickup would be most valuable. It’s the pruning and branches that can be inconvenient in the carts…. not the leaves as you point out. On top of that, leaves are the single best and easiest organic waste to compost directly in the yard.

          Were I asked (listened to??) I’d suggest that we may need more street sweeping during leaf drop season, but not loose pickups.

          1. Don Shor

            I’d say the first week of February this may become very apparent to DWR, and maybe they’ll make changes at that point.

  6. nameless

    Just so you are aware, the organics program has been instituted because it will keep yard waste out of the landfill, a direction the state is mandating cities head towards.  Keeping yard waste out of bike lanes is a secondary benefit.  Recycling is the same concept.  The state mandates the city turn in a certain amount of recycling waste as well.  So if you want to keep your city bills from increasing, recycle cans, plastics, bottles and use your yard waste bins.

  7. Alan Miller

    Yard material piles will not be permitted on streets where they will block the bike lane.

    I believe that is the case now.  So does this new program come with enforcement officers?  Cosidering it takes months for an abandoned car to be removed from a neighborhood, where are th person-power resources to enforce this rule?  I don’t see it.

    piles may not be placed in the street more than 5 days before a scheduled pick-up.

    Again, a sweet thought, but I don’t see it being enforced due to lack of resources.  The piles are already in the wrong places.  The very real likely outcome is piles end up in the street for weeks and pose even more of a problem for everyone.

    1. jrberg

      It can take as little as six days, but usually twelve, to tow an abandoned vehicle.  But the process can get somewhat involved.  I’ll describe the process, which I hope gives you some insight into why a vehicle might sit for months.

      First, nothing will happen until a citizen files a complaint with the DPD.  That generates a form that is passed on to Code Enforcement.  Either a community services officer or a volunteer will then mark the car and send a form to the registered owner informing the owner that the car will be towed.  After the expiration of the 12 day grace period, the car will be revisited, usually by a volunteer, and if it hasn’t moved, it will be towed.  And here’s where it gets complicated….

      If the vehicle has been moved by as little as 6 inches, the entire process is reset.  Nothing will happen until another complaint is filed, and then everything described in the paragraph above has to re-occur before action can be taken.  The owner may be storing the vehicle on the street in his/her own neighborhood, or even a neighborhood half a mile away.  There are some vehicles in town that have been marked multiple times, with the owner playing a game of cat and mouse with the City.

      It isn’t that there aren’t resources for enforcement – it’s the rules of enforcement that often make it difficult to do the job properly.  Same applies to yard waste in bike lanes.  The rules are changing, but the emphasis for at least the first six months will be on education.


      1. Alan Miller

        That is what I experienced.  The guy would wait, then move the car, and reset the process.  He finally parked it in the alley, and three drunk dudes coming back from downtown caved in his windshield and side window.  Then he did the same with his motorcycle.  This was all solved with a parking district.

        1. jrberg

          Exactly.  And you’re saying that your original comment about no enforcement was a bit bogus, since a parking district solved the problem.  Those parking cops are tough dudes!  Does this mean you are advocating parking districts throughout the city?  Again, I’m being a bit facetious here, and pointing out that the city code rules make all the difference.

          I live in a neighborhood that is in a parking district….one of the most absurd districts around.  Parking without a permit is not allowed between 2 am and 8 am.  Parking enforcement used to come by here a few years ago at 7:30 am, but now they start later and never cruise the neighborhood.  However, I still have to pay $15 for each of my cars to park in front of my house.  I’m not willing to gamble that I won’t get a ticket, even though there is virtually no enforcement.

          I do have to admit that there are no abandoned cars in the neighborhood, though, so that’s something.  Just tons of minidorm student cars….


      2. hpierce

        Technically, per code, 120 hours (five days)… see,

        But practically, and in the real world, I don’t disagree with the main point…

        From another poster, didn’t know there was an opt-out option… we already compost @ ~ 90% level (meat scraps are the exception… not good for composting… can’t see how that changes with the new program).

        As to cost, am suspecting, if another poster is correct, that might be an “introductory offer”… to hook you in, then, when the introductory period expires, you ‘pay full freight’… but just a concern…

        1. jrberg

          Meat scraps are included in the new program.  With proper temperature control of the composting process, any organic material will break down.  I’m betting there’s a market for a substitute for cremations by composting.  The ultimate return to Mother Earth – Neptune Society, are you listening?

        2. jrberg

          As Ms. Pierce points out, 5 days is correct, which is why 6 days is the minimum wait period.  But a Council in past days thought that was too strict, and so the enforcement wait period is 12 days by Council action.


        3. hpierce

          jberg… not sure I’d do it now (have family who might freak out) but in college one of my closest friends and I thought that if ‘days were short’, we’d go up to the Sierras, and once we passed, we would provide good protein to coyotes, pumas, bears, birds of prey, insects, etc.  [some others might object because I may have ingested GMO’s that my system had not rid itself of]

          Cremains also might be good for structural soil.

          Davis Cemetery now provides for ‘green burial’ (no vault/coffin)… ‘recycle time’ might be long, but…

          My spirituality is such that once I’m done with my mortal form, don’t care much for the ‘corpus’… perhaps I am part Klingon, as they considered the corpus a “shell”… the ‘soul/essence’ is forever.

          But would rather not be put into a DWR container!


        4. darelldd

          >> not good for composting… can’t see how that changes with the new program). <<

          When this program begins, I’ll need about a 1 gallon garbage can for my family’s landfill-bound weekly garbage. Be sure to look at the list of what can be composted with the new program. This will take many pounds a week out of my trash. Really, the only thing that’ll still go in my trash is the relatively useless bits from retail packaging – plastic films and styrofoam. Oh, and dental floss. Just about everything else I can think of will be recycled or composted. A huge one for me (seasonally) is citrus skins. I juice a lot of fruit here, and my compost quickly becomes overwhelmed. I can’t put them all in my compost, so far too many pounds end up going to the landfill today. That’ll all change. Add the fish, meat and soiled paper and cardboard… and I can just about turn in my black garbage bin.

          >> might be an “introductory offer”… to hook you in, then, when the introductory period expires, you ‘pay full freight’… but just a concern… <<

          The cost of everything we do inexorably goes up. Right now the cost of the future program is the same as the current program. Eventually the cost will go up, just as it would if we continued doing what we’re currently doing. What’s amusing is that 50-60 years ago, the townspeople probably had the same comments and concerns when the loose waste pickup was first rolled out (yes, there was a time when homeowners had to deal with their own yard waste! Amazing that Davisville survived, really).

    2. darelldd

      jrberg covered this well.

      As things stand today, we’re in a bit of limbo for enforcement of our current muni code that states No yard refuse piles shall be placed or maintained in any part of a bicycle lane.” We’re in limbo because of a fairness in billing situation for those who have no street front that does not include a bike lane. That’ll be solved at the next council meeting, and then we can begin better enforcement. When we can enforce, we will. There’s no reason to compare abandoned vehicles to this sort of enforcement. Much different situation as has been pointed out. Anything dealing with a motor vehicle is crazy full of T’s to cross and I’s to dot.

      If you are finding piles in the wrong places today or in the future, report them, please. The PD doesn’t waste resources on cruising the streets for errant piles or abandoned vehicles. They will take care of things that are reported, however. Come and help be part of the solution.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for