OrganicsLA is a curbside organics recycling program from the City of Los Angeles, mandated by Senate Bill 1383, a statewide mandate aimed at keeping organic waste out of landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Effective immediately, residents serviced by LASAN are required to place food scraps and food-soiled paper, along with yard waste, in their green bin. The City of Los Angeles will pick up the green bin weekly and the collection day will remain the same. The green waste will be processed to create compost to be used by farmers.

Residents serviced by the City’s recycLA program should work through their property management company to request organics service, if it is not already provided. To establish organics service, the property management company should contact our 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489 and request a waste assessment, from their recycLA service provider.

How do I get a free kitchen pail?

To help residents start recycling their food scraps, LASAN is offering a free kitchen pail to City of Los Angeles residents. These pails are available for pre-registered pickup at participating distribution sites, one pail per household, while supplies last. Pails are not required to participate in the new organic waste recycling program. Any container of choice (e.g., bowl, paper bag, etc.) can be used to collect food scraps and take them to the green bin. Pails are also available for multifamily customers serviced by recycLA. If your multifamily building does not yet have organic waste service, food scraps can be dropped off at a participating farmers market location with a food waste drop off program.

To identify your nearest pail distribution site and schedule an appointment for pick up, please click this link.
OrganicsLA - Map

How can I participate?

It’s simple! Just place food scraps and food-soiled paper into your green bin, and the City will take care of the rest. You can collect food scraps throughout the week using the kitchen pail provided by the City, or any other container, and empty the contents of the pail into the green bin along with yard waste for weekly collection.

You can also use the pail to carry your food scraps to your backyard composting bin or an LA Compost drop-off location.
OrganicsLA - Pails

What can go in my green bin?

  • Fruits, vegetables
  • Dairy, eggshells
  • Bread, cereal, grains, rice, pasta, beans
  • Meat, bone, fish, shells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Food soiled paper products including greasy napkins and pizza boxes
  • Yard waste, flowers, grass clippings, tree trimmings
  • Clean untreated wood 
  • Natural wood chopsticks (clean, untreated, not lacquered)
  • 100% natural bamboo (clean, untreated, not coated)
  • Natural corks (consider a web search for "cork recycling" for drop-off locations)
OrganicsLA - Valid Green Bin Items

What can't go in my green bin?

  • Plastics
  • Products labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable"
  • Glass
  • Produce stickers
  • Rubber bands
  • Twisty ties
  • Plastics, waxes, coatings, etc.
  • Pet waste 
  • Pet litter
  • Fats, Oil & Grease derived from cooking
  • Cacti and thorny succulents
OrganicsLA - Invalid Green Bin Items

How do I prevent pests, odors, and messes?

Inside Your Home:
  • Use a paper towel or paper bag to line your kitchen pail.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your kitchen pail to reduce odors.
  • Empty your kitchen pail into your green bin regularly and just before collection day.
  • Wash your kitchen pail regularly. It is dishwasher friendly.
  • Wrap smellier items and store in your refrigerator or freezer until collection day.
Outside Your Home:
  • Put some yard trimmings in your green bin before and after adding your scraps.
  • Place the green bin out for collection every week, even if not full.
  • Rinse your green bin as needed and sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the bin.
  • Call LASAN's 24-hour Customer Care Center at 800-773-2489 for repair or replacement of broken bins.

Why can't I put compostable plastics in the green bin?

Although marketed as "compostable" or "biodegradable", these items do not actually break down in the amount of time the commercial facilities compost the material. Although these bags are "certified" under various certifications such as ASTMD6400 or BPI, the testing conditions for this certification do not actually match what many real commercial composting facilities operate at. This means the products don't fully decompose with the other organics in the compost. This causes issues in the quality of compost when it is sold to agricultural producers. As such, we are advising residents to NOT place "compostable" utensils, bags, or service ware in the green bin with their organics. Although these items have good intentions they should be placed in the trash at this time as they will also cause issues with the recycling of conventional plastics in the blue bin.

What happens to the green bin contents?

The contents of the green bin will be composted in a commercial facility, and that compost will be used by farmers to grow organic products. That's why it's so important to keep trash, pet waste, household hazardous waste, and other contaminants out of the green bin.

How is commercial composting different from backyard composting?

Commercial facilities have compost piles that are much larger and achieve much higher heat than those you would reach in your own backyard composting efforts. As a result, they can take products such as meat and dairy along with other organic waste, and then appropriately break them down into nutrient-rich compost without any pathogens. In non-commercial backyard composting, you should never add meat or dairy products to your compost.

Still have more questions? Contact our 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489.