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Residents Urged to Utilize Food Waste Program

Mar 26, 2018 02:25PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Recycle your food waste, Manhattan Beach! That's the message that a local Girl Scout hopes to spread, with an effort to educate the community about the "green" benefits of using the city's unique food waste management program.

Through the food waste program, residents collect food waste, seal it in a plastic bag, and toss it  - sealed - in the green bin (along with yard waste). The food waste is then sent to a special facility in Orange County, where it is converted to biofuel,

Mira Costa High School Sophomore Hannah Bergin launched the effort as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award. "I always knew I wanted to do something relating to the environment because I care about the planet, and I think it is important to recycle as much as you can," said Bergin.

"If you think about it, if you take out everything that can be recycled, and then take out food waste, there’s really barely anything that can go in the landfill," added Bergin. "Obviously the landfills keep filling up, so I think it’s important to recycle food waste because this way it can be useful - we can make it into biofuel."

As part of her project, Bergin gave six presentations around town, on both the use of the blue recycling bin and the green yard waste/food waste bin. She made a special video about food waste, posted below. 

According to Waste Management, about one-eighth of all solid waste generated in the United States is food scraps.

The food waste that is collected in the green bins is sent to to Waste Management’s CORe food waste recycling facility in Orange, CA.  The CORe technology converts food waste into an engineered bioslurry. The bioslurry is used to generate energy at the Los Angeles County Sanitation District facility in Carson, CA. The CORe facility processes 40 tons of food waste into renewable biogas each day; enough renewable energy to power more than 300 homes. Every ton of food waste that is recycled through the CORe process equates to the removal of about 30 cars from our roadways.

Manhattan Beach's food waste program began in 2015. There is no extra charge to participate in the food waste program; it is part of the monthly base charge for waste removal.

Food waste can be disposed of in any sealed plastic bag. The white countertop bins pictured above are available from Waste Management, but they are not mandatory. Residents can collect food waste in any available container (some families even keep it stored in the refrigerator to keep it from getting smelly) as long as it ends up in sealed plastic bags in the green bin.

For those households in the Sand Section without a green waste bin, Waste Management has a supply of smaller, 18-gallon green bin to accommodate properties with spatial challenges. Contact Angelica Dulce at (310) 924-0402 to order.

For more information and FAQs about the city's food waste program, see this food waste information page.

Hannah's Girl Scout Gold Award Video

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