Food Scrap Recycling

The Food Scrap Guide is no longer being updated or printed.

A recent study found that food scraps and food-soiled paper were the most common materials that Castro Valley residents and businesses sent to the landfill. In fact, 46% of what we throw away can be composted instead. As a result, Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) has an ambitious plan, and your green yard waste cart is an important part of it. We have a goal to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by 75% and beyond. How? By doing more of what we're already doing, such as placing food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste in the green yard waste cart.

In 2001, CVSan residents became the first in the County to recycle food scraps and food-soiled paper in the green yard waste cart. Instead of taking space in the landfill, food scraps and food-soiled paper are combined with yard waste and sent to a composting facility. After processing, your leftovers become compost -- a valuable resource used by landscapers, farmers, schools and you!


How Do I Participate?

1. Collect food scraps and food-soiled paper in your kitchen pail or container of your choice. Biodegradeable plastics including bio-bags can be placed in your organics cart/bin as well. View the guide for container options.

2. Place collected food scraps and food-soiled paper, along with any yard trimmings you may have, into your Green Organics Cart.

3. Set out your Green Organics Cart by 6:00 a.m. on your weekly collection day.

For More Information call Castro Valley Sanitary District at 510-537-0757


Two Pail Options Still Available

1. Lidded Pail with Vents:
Smaller; fits on the countertop.  Line with newspaper; paper grocery bags will be too large.

2. Open-Air Pail (no Lid):
Larger; fits under the counter or on the floor.  Line with a paper grocery bag.

Pick up a free pail at the Castro Valley Sanitary District offices located at 21040 Marshall Street (CVSan residents only).  Two options are now available: an "open-air pail" with no lid or a lidded pail with vents.  Both allow food scraps to breathe, which helps to reduce odor and mold.

Empty contents of the pail into your Green Organics Cart.  Do not set your pail at the curb. 


Here’s a tip to help you send even less to the landfill:

Place a washable container next to your kitchen sink to collect food trimmings as you cook. It’s also a good spot to scrape food scraps after meals.

At the end of the day, toss the food scraps into your green organics cart for composting.

Wash the container and place next to your sink for tomorrow’s food scraps.


Recycling and Organics Q&A: 

Q. Why can’t I recycle paper napkins and paper towels in the recycling cart?

A. The fibers used to make paper napkins and paper towels are thin and short. Fibers must be long and strong to make high quality recycled paper. Paper napkins and paper towels go in the green organics cart for composting.

Q. Where should I put shredded paper?

A. Contain shredded paper in a paper bag and toss in the green organics cart.