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Paso Robles residents may need to change the way they throw away their food scraps

Posted at 6:29 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 22:39:15-05

The City of Paso Robles may soon make changes to the way you throw away trash by implementing a solid waste ordinance.

The next time you need to toss out some old food, you may want to reach for your green trash can. That’s because the City of Paso Robles may soon be asking residents to dispose of food in the green container.

“I think just like anything, it probably would take a few times to do it in order to remember to do it,” said Diane Larsen of Paso Robles.

A 2016 law is aiming to reduce the amount of organic material that ends up in landfills by 75% by 2025.

Local cities now must make changes to be in compliance with state regulations by January 1st of next year.

“Really, the purpose behind the law and the ordinance is to reduce the emissions of methane to the atmosphere,” said Matt Thompson, City of Paso Robles Interim Solid Waste Coordinator.

When organic waste is put into a landfill it breaks down and generates methane. The state is now trying to divert that waste to composting facilities.

For the City of Paso Robles, it’s possible that residential solid waste customers may have to pay more with the changes.

“For example, we might have to build a new anaerobic digestor facility to convert this food waste into renewable natural gas,” Thompson said.

The city anticipates that by 2023, it may have to make an adjustment to solid waste rates.

Currently, it costs a typical homeowner about $35 a month but that could go up by 10% with this most comprehensive change to solid waste management in California in 30 years.

The City of Paso Robles will have a public hearing on this topic Tuesday evening at 6:30.

As of right now, the city says they have no real way of knowing if residents are complying but when it comes to restaurants the city says it will check in with owners.

The City of Paso Robles may pass out small pails to residents within the coming year where they can dispose of those foods immediately.