Sort It Sonoma!

Sort it Sonoma LogoWhen organic materials such as food scraps and yard debris go into the trash, they end up in the landfill and create methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A state law (SB 1383) requires residents, businesses, and organizations to properly sort their waste into three containers:   food scraps and yard debris (green), recycling (blue), and trash (gray/black).

By properly sorting organic materials and recycling from the trash, we can avoid sending them to landfills and help slow climate change. In addition, recyclables can be remade into new products while organic materials can be turned into compost, which is a valuable soil amendment for gardeners and farmers.

Moreover, SB 1383 seeks to reduce food insecurity and hunger in our most vulnerable communities.

Woman handing a man a free compost pail over a counter in a store.

Compost It Sonoma!

The City is distributing FREE compost pails to make composting kitchen scraps easy. Simply collect kitchen scraps in the pail, transfer scraps to your green waste bin, and put the bin out on the curb on garbage day for collection. Learn more and find out how you can get a free kitchen countertop compost pail.

Sort it Sonoma Actions

REDUCE the amount of food waste you generate.

COMPOST organics materials by placing yard debris and all food scraps (including meat and dairy) into your green organics cart.

SORT RIGHT by learning what should go into each cart.

"How To" Videos & Public Awareness Messages

Are you confused about what should and should not go into the recycling (blue), organics (green), and trash (gray/black) carts? The City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Ecology Center’s Earthlings Club are here to help! The City and the Earthlings partnered to create a series of “how to” Public Service Announcements and informative videos to help Sonomans answer this question.

Learn how to properly sort waste, why is proper waste sorting is important, how you can help reduce harmful greenhouse gases, and more in the following videos.

Sort it Sonoma! Public Awareness Messages

Frequently Asked Questions

Organic materials to be placed in your compost cart include:

  • Food scraps including solid, semi-solid, and liquid food including fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, pasta, tea bags, coffee filters, and fats/oils.
  • Food-soiled paper: uncoated paper soiled by food waste (e.g., napkins, paper towels, paper plates, coffee filters, and other paper and compostable food packaging).
  • Yard trimmings including grass clippings, leaves, flowers, hedge clippings, and weeds.  Non-hazardous wood waste includes tree branches, tree trunks, and untreated lumber.

Yard trimmings including grass clippings, leaves, flowers, hedge clippings, and weeds.  Non-hazardous wood waste includes tree branches, tree trunks, and untreated lumber.

Yes, absolutely. These items can be composted even if they are wet or stained with food, vegetable oil, or grease. Please do not place paper towels, napkins, or tissue into the recycling!

No, these materials are NOT accepted in the compost cart because they are not compostable at the facility used by the City.

Sonoma Garbage Collectors accepts only certain items for recycling. Visit their website for a detailed list of was is accepted in the blue cart.

Yes, composting at home reduces greenhouse gas emissions from trucking your organic materials to a commercial composter. And you can use the finished compost as a valuable soil amendment. Learn how to create a backyard hot pile or start a vermicomposting (worm composting) bin at home.

To meet the required 20% water usage reduction, the following actions will be prohibited effective July 1, 2021:

  • Refilling or initial filling of a swimming pool from the City’s water system except as otherwise needed to maintain the water level for the proper operation of swimming pool pumps and filters;
  • Use of water for nonrecirculating ornamental fountains by commercial customers;
  • Noncommercial washing of privately owned motor vehicles, trailers, and boats except from a bucket and a hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle;
  • Any use of water from a fire hydrant except for fighting fires. Use for essential construction needs may be permitted by the director upon submittal of a permit application for construction water;
  • Use of potable water for dust control at construction sites; and
  • Residential and commercial irrigation except on Monday and Thursday nights from 8pm to 6am.

The following are exempt from Stage 2 irrigation restrictions:

  • Landscape irrigation zones that exclusively use drip irrigation systems
  • Watering or irrigating by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, or for very short periods of time for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system
  • Irrigation of athletic fields
  • Irrigation of the City’s Plaza

In addition, water users are encouraged to take the following recommended actions:

  • Inspect all irrigation systems, repair leaks, and adjust spray heads to provide optimum coverage and eliminate avoidable over-spray.
  • For irrigation valves controlling water applied to lawns, vary the minutes of run time consistent with fluctuations in weather.
  • Reduce minutes of run-time for each irrigation cycle if water begins to run off to gutters and ditches before the irrigation cycle is completed.
  • Utilize water conservation rebate and other incentive programs to replace high water-use plumbing fixtures and appliances with water-efficient models.
  • Utilize City information on using water efficiently, reading water meters, repairing ordinary leaks, and applying water efficiently to landscaping.


Close window