Monday, April 23 , 2018, 8:22 pm | Fair 54º


Dozens of Businesses Join Santa Barbara’s Yellow Bin Foodscraps Program

Spurred by economic incentives and a genuine desire to do the right thing, dozens of local businesses have joined Santa Barbara’s innovative foodscraps composting program in the last six months.

Coffee shops, grocery stores, offices, schools and full-service restaurants have all deployed the yellow bin in the kitchen.

Under the program, they are able to divert food and paper waste from the landfill and frequently save money on their utility bill. The rich compost created from their scraps is used on area parks and returned to school gardens.

The total number of participating establishments is now close to 200. Recent additions include:

The Lark
Anacapa School
Lilac Patisserie
Yellow Belly
Allen Construction
The Little Door
Joe’s Café
The Shop Café
Apeel Sciences
Cajun Kitchen
Persona Pizza
Palace Grill

in La Arcada

Jeannine’s American Bakery and Restaurant
La Arcada Bistro
Petit Valentien

Chris Vigilante, owner of The Shop Cafe on Milpas Street, explains his motivation for joining: “The decision to participate was really a no-brainer for us. We were frustrated by the amount of recyclable material that was being thrown in the regular trash. So the only solution was to make sure that we make it as straightforward as possible in order to really have an impact."

Since debuting in 2009, the foodscraps composting program has become one of the flagships of City Trash & Recycling. It results in 3,000 tons of waste being diverted every year from Tajiguas Landfill. Instead, the items are sent to an industrial composting facility in Santa Maria where they are converted back into a high-quality soil additive that is used by local landscapers and on our parks and school yards. The yellow bin accepts far more than can be composted in a backyard bin: produce, meat, dairy, waxed cardboard, soiled paper towels, dirty napkins and kitchen paper.

City Trash & Recycling staff are available to help local food-serving businesses with a free waste assessment to determine whether this program serves their interests. Free training is offered to kitchen staff, along with assistance selecting and placing bins. Business inquiries can be made to 805.564.5631, and more information is available online by clicking here.

— Seth Nickinson is the outreach coordinator for the City Trash & Recycling for Santa Barbara.

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