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South Lake Refuse
& Recycling Services

Multifamily Compost Service
Yard & Food Waste

Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling provides a green cart for the weekly roadside collection of compostable materials like yard waste, food waste and food-soiled papers.

As of January 1, 2022, you must sort your recyclables and organic waste including paper, cardboard, yard waste, food scraps, and food soiled paper from the garbage. It’s the law!

GREEN COMPOST Cart(s) or Bin(s)

Did you know that Up Valley customers can now put food scraps and food-soiled paper along with yard trimmings in their compost carts for curbside collection AND it’s now the law?

As of January 1, 2022, a new law (SB 1383) requires that all Californian’s properly sort their organic waste for composting from materials that go to the landfill. This service is included as part of your residential service package with Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling. The good news is, as long as you’re sorting all your organic waste into your green cart, you’re in compliance.

Visit our Multifamily Services page to review the container options and set out rules for Multifamily customers.

Why does adding food, food soiled paper and yard waste to my green compost cart matter?

When organic materials end up in landfills, they generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. South Lake’s compost facility, Quackenbush, instead turns this valuable material into organic compost. When compost is used in landscape and agriculture it builds soil nutrients, conserves water, and reduces the need for fertilizers.

Please do not include any plastics in the compost carts besides the BPI certified bags for kitchen waste.

What Belongs in COMPOST

Put all your yard waste, food scraps & food soiled paper into your green cart(s). Do not overfill; make sure that the lid closes securely when placed at the curb for collection. Please remember that any materials extending beyond the rim of any cart will be subject to an extra charge or your cart not being picked up.

These materials can be placed in the yard waste/food scraps cart(s).

Food Scraps

Food-Soiled Paper

Yard Waste

BPI Certified Compostable Bags

What Doesn’t Belong in Compost

These materials can be placed in the yard waste/food scraps cart(s).

How do I get started?

  1. Collect food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates and cleaning spoiled food out the refrigerator. Include paper towels, napkins, paper coffee filters and coffee grounds. It all adds up!
  2. Empty your kitchen compost pail, including any brown paper bag or BPI certified liner, into your green compost cart.
  3. Place your cart out for weekly pickup on your regular collection day.

BPI Certified Bags

BPI Certified Logo

You may use unlined brown paper bags to collect food scraps, but if you choose to line your kitchen pail with compostable bags, they must meet Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) standards and show the BPI symbol.

Bags can be purchased at:

  • CalMart in Calistoga
  • Silverado Ace Hardware in Calistoga
  • Steve’s Hardware Inc. in St. Helena
  • Howell Mountain Ace Hardware in Angwin
    (only sells 13-gallon bags)
  • Safeway in St. Helena
  • Sunshine Foods in St. Helena
  • Online at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Safeway and more!
Add a few drops of vinegar to your food scraps pail and smear some on the lid to deter fruit flies.
from St. Helena
Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your kitchen pail and green cart to cut odors.
from Calistoga
To reduce smell, store food scraps (including meat and grease) in a [BPI-Certified] compostable bag in your refrigerator until you are ready to put it in your green cart.
from Angwin
Shoo Fly!

If flies cannot get to your food scraps, they will leave them alone. To keep fruit flies and other bugs out of your kitchen pail and green cart always keep the lids closed tight. As an extra precaution, cover your food scraps with paper towels or newspaper and tuck the edges along the inner wall of the pail.

Bacteria are the cause of most foul odors. Moist food scraps and juices can cause the rapid build-up of bacteria. For this reason, we ask you not to put juices or liquids in green carts with your food scraps. You can absorb remnant moisture by lining your kitchen pail and green cart with paper (newspaper, paper towels, napkins, paper bags, etc.) or by adding dry yard waste like leaves and grass to your green cart. Heat also encourages bacteria growth. Keep your kitchen pail in a cool place and green cart out of the sun until you take it to the curb.
Fight Furry Critters

The smell of meat and dairy products is often what lures critters like rats, mice or raccoons to your garbage and food scraps. If possible, cover your food scraps with yard waste to help minimize odors. Make sure the green cart lid is closed tight. Remember, your pick-up services require that the lids of carts open easily so please do not use weights, bungee cords, or rope to keep lids closed.  These devices might also inadvertently end up in the trucks with the food scraps and yard waste

Compost Cart Care

  • Layer “greens & browns” to reduce odors and to contain messier foods.
    • Green materials: fresh grass clippings, food scraps, green leaves and green plant trimmings (things with some moisture content in them).
    • Brown materials: dry leaves, paper products, twigs, branches.
  • Use a BPI Certified compostable bag or a newspaper liner in your kitchen container to help keep food scraps from touching the inside of your green compost cart.
  • Store your cart in the shade in hot weather.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your compost cart to reduce odors and deter insects. 
  • If needed, use mild soap and water to clean your green cart. Pour dirty water onto grass or gravel, not down the storm drain.

Why can’t I use my garbage disposal for food scraps?

Garbage disposals aren’t meant to handle large quantities of food. Sending food into the sewer requires additional water to flush the food down your drain. Conserve water by collecting your food scraps for composting. By doing this, not only do we protect the environment, but we also capture personal cost savings from less water use and community savings from less wastewater treatment costs.

Soiled paper, bones, seafood shells, and fruit pits, as well as fats, solidified oils, and grease (FOG) should never be put down the drain, but can definitely be composted. FOG can cause sewer blockages leading to spills and overflows, which are harmful to the environment and public health.


We know that it can be difficult to determine what materials are compostable. All materials in the green carts or compost bins go to the Upper Valley Composting Facility where they are made into a nutrient rich soil amendment, compost. Contamination is very hard to remove once it is in the compost container.

Common Compost Contaminants

  • Plastic bags and packaging (should go into trash)
  • Garbage bags (only garbage goes into garbage bags, do not bag your recyclables)
  • Paper lined with plastic and or metals
  • Pet & Human waste

What Can I Do to Help Prevent Contamination?

  • Review the list of what materials CAN be composted.
  • Unfortunately, when in doubt, it’s better to throw it out (in the garbage) than to risk contaminating your compost container.

How We Manage Compost Contamination at South Lake Refuse & Recycling

Compost carts/bins WILL NOT be emptied if contaminated with trash or non-compostable materials.

If the driver notices contamination, he/she may not be able to empty your container. If this happens, a Non-Collection Notice will be left on your cart letting you know why the cart was not collected. You will also get an OOPS TAG which will tell you what contamination was found so will know the next time. You will be given the opportunity to clean up the container so it can be emptied on your next service say. Or you may opt to request a special pickup (for a fee) after removing the contaminants from the container.


Missed Collection

We make every effort to emptying your container(s) on your service day, but on occasion, we may miss you. We apologize if this happens.

  • If our driver skips collection, please call our office within two business days so we can return at no cost to you.
  • If your miss is discovered after office hours, you can leave us a message through our contact form.
  • We are all human and may accidently forgot to set-out our containers for collection. If this happens, please call our office hours and let us know. We can offer a one-time courtesy fee waiver and allow you to set out an extra bag the next pick-up day equal to your missed collection without charge. If you cannot wait until the next week to set-out extra garbage, we can go back and empty the cart(s) for an additional $25 per cart and $75 per bin.
  •  There are other instances when your container(s) may not be emptied. This may be because the container was not out, or it was blocked by something that prevented us from safely emptying it, or the container had prohibited items. If this was the case, we will leave you a notice with instructions on how to correct the problem (such as the cart was not out, the container was blocked, or the contents of the container had prohibited materials). We can return to empty the container for an additional fee per container.

Contact South Lake Refuse & Recycling

Need Compost?

Quakenbush Resource Recovery Park offers compost made from the organic material we collect.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Dispose of materials like batteries, paints and household cleaners properly at a collection event for residents in Lake County.


South Lake Refuse & Recycling has been owned and operated by the Pestoni Family since 1980. The South Lake Refuse & Recycling team has a strong commitment to community and environmental stewardship. In the late 1990s Quackenbush Materials Resource Recovery and Compost facility was permitted and became operational, a partner company to SLR&R. We are proud to offer Certified Organic Compost, top soil and woodchips for your agricultural crops, local landscape projects and home garden use.

© 2022 South Lake Refuse & Recycling 

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