City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 062321
Long Beach Launches Commercial Food Scraps Collection Pilot Program
Dikran Melkonian
Deputy Director and Environmental Services Bureau Manager

Long Beach, CA - As part of the City of Long Beach’s ongoing efforts to reduce waste and improve recycling across the city, the Department of Public Works Environmental Services Bureau (ESB) has launched the City’s first Commercial Food Scraps Collection Program. The pilot program, developed as a collaborative effort with local businesses, will divert food scraps from the waste stream and create renewable energy, reduce food waste and prevent potent greenhouse gas emissions.

“The launch of the Commercial Food Scraps Collection Program marks a major step towards reducing Long Beach’s overall greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are proud to partner with our local businesses to help achieve the City’s sustainability goals.”

The ESB is partnering with 115 select local businesses, identified by the City as high generators of organic materials, to institute a food scraps collection process at their establishment. Businesses will each initially receive a 95-gallon green cart to dispose of and collect food scraps. Acceptable items for collection include leftover food-based materials such as all meat, dairy, bread, vegetables, fruits, eggs and shells, coffee grounds, cheese, pasta and any food scrap. All non-food-based materials such as trash, recyclables and hazardous waste must be disposed of separately. 

The Department of Public Works will pick up the food scraps for delivery to the Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for processing. Once at the MRF, a milkshake-like substance or slurry will be treated, pumped into tanks and shipped to a wastewater treatment plant managed by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District. There, the slurry will be converted into renewable energy through anaerobic digestion, the process by which organic material-like food waste is broken down in a sealed oxygen-free tank to produce biogas or biofertilizer. More details about the Los Angeles County food waste recycling process can be found at

In addition to managing the distribution and collection of the green collection bins, the City will provide businesses with routine site visits, training materials and signage, available in multiple languages, to help ensure businesses set up a successful food scraps collection program. Participating businesses can visit for more information or call the Environmental Services Bureau at 562.570.2869 for assistance.

“We’re grateful for this collaboration with the businesses, who are instrumental in diverting food scraps from the waste stream,” said Public Works Deputy Director and Environmental Services Bureau Manager Dikran Melkonian. “We are very excited to launch this program that has been years in the making.”

The Department of Public Works initiated this pilot program to support local businesses required to divert organic waste in accordance with State guidelines. Commercial food scraps collection is the first step toward achieving California’s diversion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. California Assembly Bill 1826 mandates all commercial businesses divert organic waste and is further enforced in State Senate Bill 1383, which establishes statewide targets to achieve a 75% reduction of organic waste and recover at least 20% of edible food for human consumption by 2025. Implementing a food scraps collection program also reduces methane emissions.

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.

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About Public Works
The Long Beach Public Works Department strives to operate, preserve and enhance the City's physical infrastructure and transportation systems. The Department provides a variety of community services including the repair, rehabilitation and general upkeep of City streets, trees, sidewalks and City structures. Public Works also provides emergency support services throughout the City. Visit us at, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About Environmental Services Bureau
The Public Works Environmental Services Bureau preserves the upkeep of the cityscape with a robust refuse and recycling collection service that serves more than 120,000 residential and commercial customers, and street sweeping operations that span from the City’s major corridors to its residential streets. Visit us at, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.