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Ask a Recycler: What Do You Do With Our Green Bin Contents?

What happens to the organics we place in our green bins? Davis Street Transfer Station's recycling programs manager answers.

Question:

What do they do with our green bin contents?

Answer, from Rebecca Jewell, Recycling Programs Manager
Davis Street Transfer Station:

All organics (curbside green and food) from households in Alameda County, including those collected in the City of Alameda, are sent for composting.

Contents of our bins in Alameda go to Newby Island in San Jose. There, the material is ground and piled into windrows where it stays for up to three months. The resulting compost is ready for sale to vineyards and other agriculture.

If you have other questions about the recycling programs available in Alameda, call the City of Alameda’s Recycling Experts at 510-747-7930.

More information about recycling across Alameda County, including the reusable plastic bag ordinance and mandatory commercial recycling can be found at StopWaste.org.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask Rebecca Jewell? Add it in the comments section below and it may be selected to be answered in the next column post.

Alan January 30, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Wbere does the compost sold at Davis street come from? And is it safe for an organic vegetable garden?
Alan January 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM
What happens with the plastic? Is it true that it is shredded and used to cover the landfill at Altamont?
Jon Spangler January 30, 2013 at 04:38 PM
It has been my experience that not many home and apartment dwellers fully use the green waste bins, especially for food waste. It really is not difficult to keep fruit and vegetable trimmings, pizza boxes, paper towels, banana peels, and other organic waste out of the trash and it reduces carbon emissions considerably. If you hesitate to try it because it seems unsanitary, remember that the sanitation issues are identical whether you put food waste in the green bin or the gray one--and putting your organic (compostable) waste in the green bin is "greener" all around.
John Piziali January 30, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I've been using the "super soil" from Davis st. for 7 or 8 years now. I have two raised growing bins and I use it for tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, chard, basil, just about everything and its great. Yes it is safe, I'm still alive and don't glow.
Lisbeth Allen January 30, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Once you set up a simple system, it becomes routine. We just leave an empty plastic Folger's coffee container on the counter. Takes no extra effort to put a banana peel, or egg shell in there as opposed to the trash can or garbage disposal. In hot weather we sometimes keep it in the refrigerator, but flies and smell really aren't an issue. If we're super lazy and don't have time to run the full container out to the green bin, we stick it in the fridge. We keep a couple of extra coffee containers and rotate them.
Audrey January 30, 2013 at 09:04 PM
How can we get some of that compost back for our gardens??
Gail VanWinkle March 02, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Can we put soiled tissues/napkins in the green bin?

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