City Claims Early Success As Organics Collection Sends Tons to Composting



(From Press Release) – Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the residents and businesses of Davis, the first week of the organics collection program went smoothly.

During the first week of the program, Davis Waste Removal collected more than155 tons of organics for composting. Typically in July, Davis Waste Removal collects about 128 tons of yard trimmings a week.

“We are very pleased with the success of the first week of collection,” says Mayor Robb Davis. “Thank you to everyone for doing a stellar job separating out your organic wastes for composting.”

The Organics Collection Program, which started on July 11th, provides all residents and businesses in Davis with access to food scrap recycling service through Davis Waste Removal. The previous system of collecting yard material loose in the street every week has now changed to a hybrid system of yard material piles and organics carts.

Organics carts are serviced once per week, on the same day as residential trash and recycling service. 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.

Previously, the City allowed yard material piles to be placed on the street at any time. As such, there were always piles of debris in the street on any given day.

While there are still a few yard material piles here and there, most people seem to be getting the message. The City is leaving reminder notices at properties with piles, asking customers to remove their piles. To make it easier to remember when the next scheduled yard material pile collection will be, the recycling website,, 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.

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 City continues to host community meetings to discuss the Organics Collection Program and answer questions the next scheduled meetings will be Tuesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 28 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 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


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10 thoughts on “City Claims Early Success As Organics Collection Sends Tons to Composting”

  1. Misanthrop

    The Mayor using the representative “We” is a little too anxious to claim victory after only week one to rationalize the cost and inconvenience of this new program. He does so using obviously flawed data.

    My cart arrived around the end of June and by the time it was picked up the yard guys had  placed double the amount of leaves in it over two weeks. In fact the week before pickup began the entire street was lined with semi-full or full carts that weren’t collected. It seems people started using the carts without realizing the pick up wouldn’t start until a few weeks later. By the time pick up began there were many tons backed up in the containers.

    The real environmental costs and benefits are yet to be determined and must include how much more greenhouse gas is generated during pickup and transport. I doubt that if the program uses much more fuel the carbon footprint of the program alone will rationalize its existence.

    1. Barack Palin

      I agree with Misanthrop.  I had @ 2 weeks of refuse in mine too.  I put it out one week thinking it would get picked up but as it turned out it wasn’t picked up until the following week.

    2. Barack Palin

      Also, I know the program’s new and it’s still in the learning curve but on my street there are several piles that have been stting there a week already and won’t get picked up for another two weeks. One guy has six separate piles in the entrance of a cul-de-sac.

    1. Barack Palin

      I wonder if we’ll get press releases when the tonage is down or people are complaining about the piles lining their streets for multiple weeks at a time?

  2. Tia Will

    It seems people started using the carts without realizing the pick up wouldn’t start until a few weeks later”

    on my street there are several piles that have been stting there a week already and won’t get picked up for another two weeks”

    These issues are caused by user error, not by flaws in the system. I am well aware since I was going to set ours out prematurely until stopped by my partner who had actually bothered to read all of the information rather than just getting excited about the new program. I agree, as I am sure that the Mayor would also, that this short of an experience does not a triumph make, however, I am very optimistic about this program and hope that we will have ongoing information about both its costs and benefits so as to make an honest assessment over time.

  3. Woody

    The increased tonnage did not come from me.  I have 10x the volume of that new can waiting to be placed in the street the first week of August.

  4. Roberta Millstein

    I’m really happy with the new program.  We never composted before because we really didn’t have a use for the compost and didn’t think we’d keep up with it anyway.  This is a no-fuss, no-muss way for us to compost not only the uneaten parts of fruits and vegetables but also soiled paper products.  We have drastically reduced the amount of garbage that is going to the landfill, and I am happy about that.  In fact, we decided to make our garbage can our compost can (with a biodegradable bag in it) because the can is now bigger than we need for our landfill trash.  I hope that others give the program some time and find out that it isn’t that difficult.  I think it benefits all of us in the end.

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