In the City of Encinitas, for public health purposes, the collection of solid waste is a mandatory service. All residents and businesses are liable for payment of fees for the mandatory service, per Section 11.20.010 of the Encinitas Municipal Code.
The City has an exclusive franchise agreement with EDCO Waste and Recycling Services to provide solid waste collection services in Encinitas for both residential and commercial customers. EDCO is the only authorized company that can haul solid waste in the City of Encinitas.
Rates are set by the City Council. As a part of their regular service, EDCO will provide residential customers with one of the following: 35-gallon container or 95-gallon container. Additional containers are available at an additional charge. Both levels of service include pickup of recyclable materials and yard waste. Click here for information on the curbside recycling program.
Commercial businesses and multi-family dwellings (i.e. apartment complexes) may subscribe for a different level of service based on volume and frequency of pickup desired. For further questions regarding your trash service, contact EDCO at 760-436-4151.
Check out EDCO's End Plastic Pollution Earth Day Video here.
To learn more about EDCO's state-of-the-art recycling facility in Escondido, check out the video below to see what happens to recyclables from the time they arrive at the facility through processing.
What is Recyclable in Encinitas?
Click here to see the enlarged graphic
Mandatory Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling
Effective July 1, 2012, California State law AB341 requires that commercial enterprises which generate four cubic yards or more of solid waste weekly participate in recycling programs. This requirement also includes multi-family housing complexes of five units or more, regardless of the amount of solid waste generated each week. EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the City’s permitted waste and recycling contractor, offers commercial recycling services throughout Encinitas. EDCO representatives will establish recycling services that meet your needs for a reasonable monthly cost. Establishing recycling programs may help actually lower your total cost for waste collection services since recycling service fees are substantially lower than waste collection fees.
Click here for more information on commercial and multi-family recycling services
Reducing Single-Use Commercial Waste
The Clean Water Fund provides resources to restaurants and other food-serving businesses to aid them in reducing waste by shifting from single-use disposables to reusable serving-ware.
Reusable Food Serviceware Guide
SB 1383 - Reducing Organic Waste
Recycling of organic waste, such as food waste and green waste, is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. California disposes approximately 30 million tons of waste each year, of which more than 30 percent could be diverted from the landfill. When organic waste decomposes in the landfill, it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. With that in mind, then Governor Brown signed legislation in 2016 (Senate Bill 1383) that targets reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane. The law directs the state’s Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery to adopt regulations and requirements to achieve a 50 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.
Organic waste such as green materials and food materials are recyclable through composting and mulching, and through anaerobic digestion, which can produce renewable energy and fuel. Currently, EDCO is building a state-of-the-art, advanced technology Anaerobic Digestion Facility which will allow the City of Encinitas to meets its greenhouse gas and waste reduction goals. The new facility will break down organic materials such as food waste, green waste, fats, oils and greases, while generating renewable natural gas. EDCO’s Anaerobic Digestion Facility will be operational in early 2021 and at this time, curbside organics recycling will begin for Encinitas residents. (Source: CalRecycle)
Mandatory Organics Recycling (AB1826)
In October of 2014 California adopted Assembly Bill 1826, requiring all businesses to recycle their organic waste materials on and after April 1, 2016. This mandate helps California in achieving their overall waste diversion (75% by 2020) and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
Requirements for Businesses: Businesses and public entities that generate 2 cubic yards (CY) (previously 4 CY) of solid waste are required to recycle organic waste (food and/or green waste).
Business Organic Waste Includes:
- Food Scraps and Compostable Paper: food waste and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste
- Green Waste/Landscape Materials and Nonhazardous Wood Waste
Requirements for Multi-Family Properties: Apartment and Condominium Complexes of 5 units or more are required to recycle organic waste.
Multi-Family Organic Waste Includes:
- Green Waste/Landscape Materials and Nonhazardous Wood Waste
- Multifamily complexes are not required to have a food waste diversion program; however, those with 5+ units generating enough landscape related organics will be required to recycle those organics.
- April 1, 2016 - Businesses generating 8 CY of Organic Waste
- January 1, 2017 - Businesses generating 4 CY of Organic waste
- January 1, 2019 - Businesses generating 4 CY of SOLID WASTE
- CalRecycle may implement 2 CY of commercial SOLID WASTE, January 1, 2020 if statewide disposal of organic waste is not reduced by half
ALL generators of landscape waste and clean wood waste meeting the 4 CY/week threshold will be required to have a recycling program in place by April 1, 2016. Businesses may self-haul, mulch/compost on site (with appropriate state permitting), or contact EDCO for collection services.
San Diego Region & Organics
Currently in the San Diego region there is adequate capacity for recycling landscape and clean wood waste materials; however, the capacity needed to meet the demand for diverting all food waste is still under development. Thus, the City and EDCO will be working closely with their food waste generating customers through the following tiered priority approach:
1. Prevention of Food Waste
First and foremost this helps our businesses improve their bottom line. Following are resources that can help businesses in developing their food waste prevention plan:
• Food: Too Good To Waste! – County of San Diego • Preventing Wasted Food Through Source Reduction - U.S. EPA • Measuring Food Waste Can Bolster Your Bottom Line - National Restaurant Association • Food Waste Reduction Best Practices - Food Waste Alliance • Food Waste Reduction Toolkit – Food Waste Reduction Alliance
2. Donation of Edible Food
Nearly one in seven San Diego residents (approximately 500,000 people annually) does not know where their next meal is coming from. Regionally, almost 500,000 tons of food waste is sent to the landfill – the City wants to support our businesses in setting up systems to donate food to help end hunger in throughout San Diego County.
• Food Waste Donation Guide for San Diego County • Checklist for Safe Food Handling for Donation in San Diego County • USDA List of National Donation Organizations and Laws on Food Donation • Feeding America – San Diego • San Diego Food Bank • San Diego North County Alliance 3. Collection of non-edible food
After all possible means of food waste prevention and donation of edible food have been pursued, remaining food waste materials can be collected for recycling/composting. As the City’s franchised hauler, EDCO will be responsible for providing collection services for non-edible food. Waste assessments to help maximize overall waste diversion efforts (organics and recycling) are also available through EDCO upon request.
AB 1826 details and FAQs - CalRecycle Free Composting Workshops
Construction and Demo Debris
On July 9, 2008, the City of Encinitas adopted a Construction & Demolition Debris (C&D) Ordinance (Chapter 11.22). The City adopted this ordinance to help divert waste from landfills and comply with statewide mandates. C&D materials include, but are not limited to, asphalt, concrete, brick, dirt, rock, lumber, cardboard, metals and any vegetative or other land clearing/landscaping materials. All covered projects are required to reuse, salvage or recycle 60% of all C&D Debris generated from the project. Prior to issuance of a demolition or building permit applicants must submit Part 1 of the Waste Management Plan for approval.
County of San Diego Construction and Demolition Recycling Facility Directory
Wastes Banned from the Trash
Many common products that we use in our daily lives contain potentially hazardous ingredients and require special care when disposed of. It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste in the garbage, down storm drains, or onto the ground. Chemicals in illegally disposed hazardous waste can be released into the environment and contaminate our air, water, and possibly the food we eat. And by throwing hazardous waste in the garbage, you can cause additional hazards to your garbage handler. Click here for information on Hazardous Waste disposal services.
Regulations to protect public health and the environment have been changing. This is because we now know that some common items that have traditionally been thrown in your household's or small business' trash cannot be safely disposed in landfills. These common items are referred to as hazardous waste, and include motor oil, paint, "universal waste" (u-waste), electronic waste, medication waste, and sharps waste.
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) provides residents and small businesses with a list of materials which are banned from landfills.
Plastic Bag Recycling
Plastic bags and any soft, flimsy plastic cannot be placed in your blue recycling bin because they clog the machines at recycling facilities. This also includes large plastic garbage bags. Recyclable items should be un-bagged and loose in your bin.
To recycle your plastic bags, drop them off at one of the many locations in Encinitas while completing your usual errands. Locations that offer plastic bag recycling drop-off bins out front of or inside their facility include: Rite Aid Pharmacy (Santa Fe and Manchester), CVS (El Camino Real), Ralphs (El Camino Real), and Sprouts (Encinitas Blvd). Follow this link for more information on plastic bag recycling locations.
If you do not wish to recycle your plastic bags, please dispose of them in your gray trash bins.
Diverting Organic Waste: Compost Bins and Workshops
Food scraps and yard trimmings can easily be diverted from the trash by composting or vermicomposting (with worms). Composting is an easy way to convert kitchen and yard waste into mulch for your garden. To support residents in making the transition to composting and/or vermicomposting, the City subsidizes the cost of compost/vermicompost bins and workshops, both of which are available through the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation.
Backyard composting is an important strategy for managing discarded resources. Yard trimmings and food scraps, taken together, make up one of the largest components of residential discarded resources. Backyard composting is one of the most economical and effective methods of recycling these organic materials. Composting prevents air pollution and saves money, energy and water. Adding compost to your soil will also improve soil structure, improve soil chemistry, and produce healthier plants.
Another solution for diverting food scraps is the Solana Center's Food Cycle program. Solana Center accepts community members’ food scraps and process these organic materials on-site to create a high-quality soil supplement, using the Bokashi method. The program also allows the participants to collect finished compost for their home gardens.
Food Waste Forum
The City of Encinitas hosted a Food Waste Forum in 2019 to educate community members on the importance of reducing food that is wasted and catalyze dialogue with local and state experts. Here are some of the main takeaways from our guest experts:
- 1 in 6 San Diegans are food insecure. This number increases to 1 in 5 when only including children.
- Organic waste, like wasted food, takes up the largest proportion of waste in our landfills, making up 30% of our waste stream
- When in landfills food waste decomposes to produce methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, along with other odorous and noxious gases
- According to Encinitas’s latest greenhouse gas inventory, landfill emissions counted for about 5% of the City’s contribution to climate change by releasing around 22,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere in 2012.
- The state of California and the City of Encinitas are both taking strides to tackle this issue through new policies and programs to help businesses and residents avoid wasting food and divert what is left away from landfills to useful applications.
How You Can Take Action:
- Source Reduction: Reduce the amount of food you waste by meal planning, learning how to store food properly, rearranging your fridge, sharpening your knife skills, avoiding impulse purchases, and getting creative with your cooking!
Visit SaveTheFood.com to learn more about these solutions
See I Love a Clean San Diego for local zero waste initiatives
- Feed Hungry People: Become more aware of the players in our local food system and learn how you can help your neighbors while reducing your food waste footprint.
Check out San Diego Food Systems Alliance for resources
- Industrial Uses: When completed, EDCO’s new anaerobic digestion facility will process our community’s organic waste into renewable natural gas and useful fertilizers.
- Composting: Diverting food waste from landfills by composting it at home reduces methane emissions and creates a wholesome amendment to improve our community’s soil health.
Solana Center for Environmental Innovation provides reduced cost composting and vermicomposting materials for Encinitas residents.
Check out the experts' presentations!
City of Oceanside
Donate Your Produce!
When City events resume, the City will be hosting its first ever "GleanUp" event. At the GleanUp, residents will be able to bring surplus produce from their backyards for donation to local food pantries. Sign up below to receive updates about the event.