Include the Food!


Curbside food-composting is now available to all Napa Recycling customers!

Reducing what we send to landfills just got easier!  Now, all customers of Napa Recycling & Waste Services (NRWS) in the City of Napa and Napa County Recycling & Waste Services (NCRWS) in southern, unincorporated Napa County can put food scraps and food-soiled paper in the brown compost cart…it’s not just for yard waste anymore!

When organic materials, such as  food scraps, end up in landfills, they generate methane, a powerful, greenhouse gas, but composting organic materials eliminates this greenhouse gas production and creates valuable compost that can be used in landscapes and agriculture to build soil nutrients, conserve water, and reduce the need for fertilizers.

What can you compost?  Lots of Items!  All food scraps are accepted, including meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruits, and veggies.  Also, include food-soiled paper, coffee cups, paper towels and napkins, and coffee grounds, filters and tea bags.  Food scraps typically make up over 26% of what households throw away.  When you add other compostable items, such as paper napkins, coffee grounds and paper cups, it’s easy to see how composting will significantly reduce what we send to the landfill.

So, when can you start?  Today!  To help you get started, NRWS/NCRWS will provide all customers with a handy, kitchen-compost pail, starting in April. The pails will be delivered over the next few months – but you don’t need to wait for the pail; you can start putting food scraps and food-soiled paper in your brown cart right away!

This “SureClose” kitchen container being delivered to all NRWS/NCRWS customers has many great features for easy use.  Place your pail in a convenient location in your kitchen.  You can also utilize a can, bucket or any other container that suits your needs and available space.  Many plastic, metal, wooden, and ceramic options can be found locally and online. For best results, empty the container daily or line your container with newspaper, paper bags, or approved compostable bags to help keep your pail clean and reduce odors. Collect food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates and cleaning out the refrigerator of unwanted leftovers or spoiled food. Remember to include paper towels, napkins, paper plates and coffee cups. It all adds up!

Empty your kitchen compost pail, including the liner, into your brown compost rolling cart as frequently as you like. Place your cart out for weekly pickup on your regular collection day.  The collected food, soiled paper and yard waste material goes to Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility, which is being upgraded to turn it all into organically-certified compost that will be available for purchase for home gardens, landscaping, and agricultural uses.

A successful pilot-program was conducted in three Napa neighborhoods.  When surveyed, two out of three households within the pilot area reported participating in the program.  On average, these households saw a 24% decrease in the volume of their household trash!  Here is what one pilot-program participant had to say: “Some neighbors say it is too difficult to separate garbage. It’s really not!  Make it a way of life!  Just think- everything one composts goes into making dirt which is rich in nutrients.  Compost in the ground will help nurture a better growing environment for all!”

If you’re a backyard composter already – great! This curbside program allows you to compost meat, dairy, and some paper products that aren’t recommended for backyard bins.  Our state and local goal is to divert at least 75% of material away from landfills by 2020, and this can only become a reality if everyone recycles and composts as much as possible.

How will curbside food composting make a difference?  Households compost an average of 10 pounds per week through curbside food composting programs – that’s 520 pounds per year per household.  If every household in Napa participates, we’ll be keeping roughly 7000 TONS each year out of the landfill! Composting eliminates the powerful greenhouse gasses created when organic materials end up in landfills, and using Napa’s organic compost enriches the soil naturally, prevents erosion, conserves water and closes the loop locally and sustainably.

There is no separate or additional fee to participate in the curbside food- composting program.  The program is part of the normal monthly rate for all NRWS/NCRWS customers, and the brown compost cart will continue to be picked up weekly, along with your single-stream, curbside recycling and trash services.  The only change is that customers will now be able to include all food scraps and other compostables in the brown compost cart.  Customers who choose not to use the provided kitchen compost pail can feel free to use the pail for another purpose or give it to a neighbor.  The pail can also be returned to the NRWS/NCRWS payment center at 592 Lincoln Avenue.

You can learn more tips on this exciting
new program at


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