3 Ways to Keep Food Scraps out of the Landfill


Have you ever bought a bunch of veggies with dreams of eating healthier and preparing your own meals, only to find you were perhaps a bit too ambitious?

It can be frustrating to be left with food waste in your refrigerator or pantry. While we can take steps to prevent this from happening, we inevitably find ourselves with leftover food scraps sometimes. Here are a few ways to make sure our food scraps don’t go to waste in San José:

  1. Grow Your Own Food

Did you know that some food scraps can be used to grow more food? The next time you end up with scraps from carrots, green onions, beets, and more, you can reuse them to grow new food. No prior experience or exceptional effort required!

Unlike shopping at the grocery store, when you grow your own food, you avoid unnecessary packaging and food that can contain harmful pesticides and preservatives. Your food does not have to travel anywhere to get to you, and the satisfaction of having grown your own food makes it taste even better.

No garden? No problem! Try your hand at easy windowsill gardening – you can use cuttings from store bought herbs to grow your own.

  1. Compost at Home

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. Organic materials including fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds and more can be composted into a nutrient-rich soil fertilizer that helps your garden grow. Composting has lots of benefits for your garden like keeping your plants healthy, conserving water, preventing runoff, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Sign up for a free home composting workshop to get started!

  1. Place them in the garbage

In San José, residential garbage does not go straight to the landfill. It is first processed at a materials recovery facility, where food waste and other organic materials are sorted out and sent to a composting facility. The finished compost is then used for landscape and median projects.  

Put food scraps into your garbage container, and rest assured that they will be composted. Never put food or liquid in the recycling – they contaminate recyclables, making them less clean and valuable. Food can get stuck in sorting equipment, forcing workers to stop the sorting line to clean it up. Food can also seep into paper products, making the fibers too weak to be recycled.

Learn more about what happens to San José’s residential garbage and recycling here.


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