Anaheim residents could face fines for violations under new organics recycling program

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Thursday, July 27, 2023
Anaheim residents could face fines under new recycling program
The city rolled out a new Organics Recycling Program this month aimed at reducing organic waste going to landfills.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The way Anaheim residents dispose of their trash is changing.

The city rolled out a new Organics Recycling Program this month aimed at reducing organic waste going to landfills.

Erin Ryan, spokesperson for the city, said this is a big change for everyone.

"We used to put everything in the black trash bin and yard waste would go in the brown bin," Ryan said. "Now, residents are putting the yard waste and food waste in the brown bin and that is going to a composting facility offsite in the Inland Empire."

According to the program, organics includes food scraps, food-soiled paper and paper bags, as well as yard waste like grass clippings, leaves, weeds and small branches.

Residents should not use regular or biodegradable plastic bags to separate food waste.

"Residents are allowed to use brown paper bags -- think that grocery bag you get from the store, that brown paper bag; that can be used to hold your food waste," Ryan said. "You can fold that over and put it in your bin."

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She said the change will require a lot of personal responsibility.

"There's a lot of tips and tricks that are available that we're here to share with our residents to help everyone transition into this new way of sorting our food waste from the main trash," Ryan added.

The program is part of a 2016 law which looks at reducing pollution emissions like methane gas. The city plans to first educate residents on the new organics recycling program.

Ryan said crews will check bins to make sure residents are following the rules.

"There will be inspections where people will go out and open the lids of all of the bins and just check to make sure people are disposing of recyclables correctly, trash and food waste and yard waste; those organic items," she said. "We want to make sure they're doing it right."

She said residents who don't follow the law could be fined $100 for the first offense.

The program has been met with a mixed reaction, but Ryan said city officials are working to address any concerns.

Anaheim residents who do not have an organics bin or haven't received one can expect one in the next few weeks.

Code enforcement inspectors are expected to start monitoring bins on random routes starting this fall.