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Climate and Environment

Are You Following The New Compost Law? LA Workshops Return After 2-Year Pandemic Hiatus

Deep brown compost is held in the palm of both hands.
A person holds a handful of compost.
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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If you live in the city of Los Angeles and need help to start composting, we have good news.

The L.A. City Council is looking to significantly expand the number of households participating in the city's residential food waste collection program from about 18,000 customers to 750,000 by the end of the year. And there's state funding to help make it happen.

Why now? Well, California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction law, also known as SB 1383 or California's compost law, went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. The legislation, initially passed under then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016, requires a 75% reduction in organic waste by 2025.

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That's just three years away. To reach that goal, City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez wants more apartment tenants involved in composting.

"Because of the limited real estate for families that are living in multifamily housing, that in itself could be a huge source if we're able to strike [a] balance and provide the resources for these individuals to be part of the solution," Rodriguez said.

Already, everyone is required to separate green waste — food scraps like banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds — from your other trash. Rodriguez says she wants to make sure residents know how to do it right, noting that adopting policies to reduce organic waste won't matter if it's done incorrectly.

Rodriguez encourages the public to learn about composting through free composting workshops offered by L.A. Sanitation & Environment.

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Those seminars return this month after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. For those unable to make it in person, the city has created a video series, starting with why composting is necessary and then walking you through how do it correctly, how to use it and effective home gardening.

What questions do you have about Southern California?