Commercial Veggie Scrap Composting

According to the 2014 Sonoma County Waste Characterization Study (PDF), about 19.4% of commercial garbage is food waste, totaling about 25,100 tons per year.

Food scraps that can't be donated, can be composted into a beneficial soil amendment, thus greatly reducing the amount of material going into landfill. Restaurants, grocery stores, schools, hospitals and other facilities can benefit by participating in garbage company pick up, by directly hauling material to the municipal composting program or by composting food scraps on-site. Not only is food composting a better use of organic resources than landfilling, it can also decrease refuse collection costs over the long term.

1. Garbage company pick up of commercial veggie food waste

Does your company put vegetable food scraps in the garbage? Ask your garbage company if your business qualifies to be included on a dedicated commercial pick up route. For customers served by Recology Sonoma-Marin, contact (800) 243-0291 for information and details about starting service. For an example, see a short video about the commercial food scrap composting pilot in the city of Sonoma.

2. On-site commercial food scrap composting

Depending on the type and volume of food scraps, small operations may be exempt from the permitting requirements (i.e., those with less than 50 cubic yards and processed in-vessel). Prior to beginning a compost operation, consult the current composting regulations and contact the Sonoma County Department of Environmental Health and Safety for guidance on any local permit requirements. In addition, for use permit requirements check with your local building department or Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD), Planning Division.

Additional Resources

Commercial veggie scrap recycling poster (PDF: 1.77 MB)
PĆ³ster con informaciĆ³n de reciclaje de desperdicios de comida
(PDF: 1.77 MB)

Donate edible food

Catholic Charities Family Support Center
465 A Street, Santa Rosa
(707) 542-5426
Drop-off: canned goods, dried goods and fresh produce. Enough to feed 80 people. Call first.

Food Runners Sonoma County
(707) 596-8711
Pick up (by appointment): edible food from events, farms & restaurants.

Redwood Empire Food Bank
3990 Brickway Boulevard, Santa Rosa
(707) 523-7900
Drop-off: canned goods, dried goods and fresh produce; call first.

Redwood Gospel Mission Food Donation
101 6th Street, Santa Rosa
(707) 542-4817
Drop-off: canned goods, dried goods and fresh produce; call first.

Food scraps for worms

If you generate a small amount of nonmeat food scraps, check with community gardens or local vermicomposters that may accept small amounts of vegetable food scraps:

Compost Club
(707) 922-5778

Sonoma Valley Worm Farm
(707) 996-8561