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Composting and Organics

Compost is a dark, crumbly, sweet, earthy-smelling form of decomposing organic matter. Composting is the natural breakdown of organic materials by living organisms. In a meadow or on the forest floor, dead plants decay, and many of the nutrients that plants take up during their life are released back into the soil, forming compost.

Organic material is anything that was once alive and is made of natural materials such as yard trimmings, soiled paper, untreated wood, and food scraps. Join the Burbank Landfill team for an in-depth look at the extensive effort and costs of recycling landscape materials through the City curbside green bin. When more residents use backyard composting It keeps these resources (as well as food scraps) at home with fewer negative impacts and more environmental benefits!
helpful tips
Organics make up a third of all material going to landfills. Rotting organics take up unnecessary space and are also major greenhouse gas (methane) emitters. 

Residents play an important part of the City's efforts to reduce the impact of organic waste. To help do their part they can:
  • Set the green cart out only when full to further minimize the number of stops on routes
  • Mulch* leaves and compost other organics in the backyard 
  • Participate in grasscycling by leaving clippings on the ground (nutrients)
  • Replace lawns altogether with native plants that sip rather than gulp water and drastically reduce yard waste
  • Reduce food waste (1/3 of all food grown in the U.S. goes to waste!) 
  • Start a backyard compost or worm bin to reduce waste and create fertilizer

*Avoid mulching with invasive varities, such as Bermuda grass, or lawns that have been recently applied with herbicides. 

The easiest way to reduce your overall waste footprint is to lessen how much food goes to waste!
  • Buy less - Create a list to buy only what you need.
  • Shop for less packaging.
  • Start a garden and join a community produce share group.
  • Freeze any excess items before they go bad.
  • Make stock or smoothies with items before they turn or show signs of rotting.
  • Create an 'eat first' bin in your fridge to stay mindful of inventory.
  • Challenge yourself to use up your forgotten pantry items. 
  • Dates on lables are guides but use your judgement ("smell test") before tossing.
  • Visit savethefood for more tips, recipes, and storage ideas.