Newport Beach City Council Approves Expanded Recycling Program to Meet New State Mandates

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A new, eight-year waste and recycling collection contract that will meet new state mandates, including organic waste recycling, was approved by the City Council on Tuesday, January 11.

The agreement with the City’s trash and recycling contractor, CR&R Environmental Services, updates Newport Beach’s residential waste and recycling program to meet changes in state law that took effect January 1.

The new program will utilize three separate carts: one for solid waste, one for mixed recyclables, and a third for organic waste recycling, which includes food waste and landscaping waste items.

Beginning in February, residents will begin receiving new, green-top recycling containers for organic waste, an optional two-gallon bucket for kitchen scraps, and educational materials on how to recycle properly.

The new state law, Senate Bill 1383, requires all California residents and businesses to recycle organic waste, including food waste and green waste, in addition to standard recycling materials. The rules aim to reduce organic waste sent to landfills by 75 percent by 2025, as a strategy to address climate change and reduce the impacts on landfills. As organic waste decomposes in landfills it emits methane, a highly polluting greenhouse gas.

The initial increase to the City’s waste collection and recycling costs will be about $2.9 million per year under the new contract, partially offset by $1.3 million in additional recycling fees approved in March 2021. The net increase to the City’s General Fund will be about $1.5 million a year. Residents’ bills will not increase under the new contract, as the majority of recycling costs are paid from the City’s General Fund.

As part of the new contract, CR&R is updating its collection routes to provide greater efficiency, cost savings and safety, as well as reducing truck traffic and emissions.

As a result, about 14,000 residences will have their collection days changed, beginning in February. Residents affected by the changes will be notified by the City and CR&R in advance. Recycling collection will fall on the same day as trash collection. Street sweeping days will also change, where applicable, to align with the collection day changes.

The new contract also includes performance measurements for CR&R, along with requirements for newer, safer collection vehicles equipped with collision-avoidance technology.

New Waste and Recycling Cart System

Newport Beach’s new, three-cart system will include:

  • A black-top cart for trash (anything not recyclable).
  • A blue-top cart for standard recyclables (cans, paper, plastics)
  • A green-top cart for organics (yard waste and food scraps)
  • An optional two-gallon pail to collect organic materials (food scraps) in the kitchen

For residents with space constraints, such as small garages and walkways, smaller carts will be provided upon request. Disabled residents can receive free assistance to place their carts curbside each week. The service is also available to other residents for an additional fee. Residents will also be required to put all materials inside the proper carts. Waste cannot be left in bags or loose on the street.

Residents can find more information, including a detailed list of the types of items to place in each container and available cart sizes, in the Trash & Recycling section of the City’s website at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/public-works/municipal-operations/trash-recycling, and in this list of frequently asked questions: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/70926/637770021974330000.

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