Grocery CartDid all of the food you purchased on your last shopping trip end up being consumed? Chances are, probably not. Over 40% of the food produced in America isn’t eaten.   Natural resources are used to grow, harvest and package food, and energy must be used to deliver those products to consumers.  Every time food is throw away, we are wasting money and natural resources.  Need more information about food waste? Check out ReFED at

NO Taste for Waste

Throughout San Luis Obispo County, the local garbage companies are starting to provide a FREE Residential Food Waste Program. If you have any questions call the IWMA at 805-782-8530 or contact your waste collection service provider to get started.

Food waste collection program FAQs

Q. What food waste materials are accepted/prohibited?


Q. Will my food scraps bin smell?

A. Even if you do not collect your food scraps separately, they will still end up in your trashcan. Just take out your food scraps bin as often as you take out your kitchen trash.

Q. What about my curbside green waste bin?

A. Since we do not allow bags in your green waste bin, there are many ways to make sure it stays clean:

  • Layer yard clippings on bottom of bin
  • Sprinkle baking soda in bin
  • Place bin in shade
  • Even if it is not full, make sure to take bin out to be collected every week
  • Contact your hauler for periodic bin cleaning


Beyond foodscraps collection

In addition you can start your own at-home worm bin or home compost. To reduce food waste and maximize your dollar, check out these tips: 

  • Store your produce strategically so it stays fresh longer.



  • Time what you eat after a shopping trip so you can use the most perishable items first.

  • Find out how much food you waste with this personal food waste quiz. Then follow the guides to take action.
  • Learn how to store and eat food at peak quality with the USDA’s iPhone app Food Keeper, or Android app FoodKeeper or follow the ultimate shelf life guide to figure out when your food will really go bad.
  • Plan your meals to maximize what you already have and minimize money wasted at the store. Follow these steps to successful meal planning.
  • Create a meal from the random items in your fridge with this tool that finds recipes based on what ingredients you have on hand.