Vivian Largo was one of many residents who received a food waste bin and kitchen pail in the Sherman Heights neighborhood on Jan. 11, 2023. / Photo by Kristian Carreon for Voice of San Diego

This post originally appeared in the Jan. 13 Morning Report.

San Diegans in the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhoods received new green bins the city began rolling out Wednesday, our MacKenzie Elmer reported. These bins are for residents to recycle food waste. But, some of our readers had questions about how to use them. 

Here are some answers to their questions, edited for clarity.

Q. How big are the kitchen pails? (These are pails provided by the city along with the regular, larger rolling bin.) 

A. The city-provided kitchen pails are 11.5 inches long and 9.25 inches high. 

Q. Can we throw cooking grease in these food waste bins? 

A. No fats, oils or grease should go into the bin. 

Contract workers assemble and deliver food waste bins in the Sherman Heights neighborhood on Jan. 11, 2023. / Photo by Kristian Carreon for Voice of San Diego

Q. A user on Twitter asked, we already use green bins for plant based garbage and food from the gardeners and such. It gets picked up every two weeks. Is this the same thing, just giving us trash cans vs using our own and kicking it up every week? 

A. If residents already have a green bin that they’re using for yard and other green waste, continue to do so until the city has brought you a new bin for food waste. The city’s website indicates a kitchen pail will be delivered to you with information on when you can start adding food scraps to that same green bin. But yes, food and yard waste bin collection will eventually be every week for your residence. 

Q. Hugo Lillo on Facebook asked when restaurants will be required to roll out food waste recycling. 

A. Restaurants with 250 seats or more or with a footprint of 5,000 square feet or more will have to begin recovering food that is otherwise edible beginning Jan. 1, 2024, according to the city’s website.  

The city also has a list of frequently asked questions and answers on its website. 

Keep up with Elmer’s reporting on the city’s new green bins, and other news, with her biweekly newsletter, The Environment Report. Subscribe here.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. This will be interesting, considering that people abuse the blue bins by putting all sorts of non-recylcleable material in them. So food waste that is in a bin with a broken lid (very common due to rough handling by “robot arm” trucks) will no doubt bring flies and other pests. Currently, for most of the accepted blue bin trash (save bottles, cans, and maybe cardboard), there is no demand and they don’t get recycled, but you can “feel good” about it.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.