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Resource Recovery & Recycling Division
2500 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA  90404

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Phone: 310-458-2223
Fax: 310-264-7750

email: recycling@smgov.net 
 
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To prevent the spread of COVID-19, our offices will be CLOSED to the public until further notice.

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Santa Monica's Edible Food Recovery Pilot Program 2021

Food WasteThe City of Santa Monica's Resource Recovery and Recycling Division of Public Works received a $100,000 grant in 2018 funded by California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, CalRecycle, and California Climate Investments, to implement a pilot project for edible food recovery from restaurants in the city. The purpose of this program was two-fold:

-     Recovery edible food and make available to people in need of food, thus addressing a local food insecurity crisis; and

-     Keep food out of landfills, which results in the release of a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and aggravates climate change.

The program encouraged and aided local restaurants in recovering edible food leftovers and donating them to local food recovery organizations, the latter of which would provide to food insecure people in the area. Such edible food often ends up in the trash, and then a landfill, where it decomposes and releases methane gas into the atmosphere. This type of methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, which impacts our climate in a negative way

Diverting food leftovers from landfills to beneficial and sustainable reuses reduces this climatic change impact. The experiences and lessons learned from this project, which ended August 2021, is helping the City implement the new state organics recycling mandate, S.B. 1383, the Short-lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Act of 2016, through a new City ordinance with the same objective – divert organics, that is, unused food and landscape (green) materials, from landfills to new sustainable uses. 

This new law impacts all residents and businesses, e.g. all properties. Everyone will need to recycle organics, at a minimum. Certain food-related businesses will have to recover edible food for donation, as this program piloted. More information about S.B. 1383 will be posted on the RRR webpage later in 2021. The new ordinance takes affect on January 1, 2022. In the interim, interested persons can e-mail Customer Service at recycling@santamonica.gov, or call (310) 458-2223, and ask for the Zero Waste Team.

.Cal Recycle         Cal Climate

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1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401