Multifamily Organics

Food Scraps Recycling Required for All Multifamily complexes in 2022

Starting on Jan. 1, 2022, California’s Short-lived Climate Pollutant law (SB1383) requires multifamily complexes to separate food from the garbage. Keeping food out of landfills prevents methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that causes climate change. To learn more about the food scraps program and its impacts, visit the City of Sunnyvale FoodCycle page.

Setting up your food scraps service

When will my complex get food scraps service?

The City and Specialty are rolling out the food scraps program for multi-family homes in three phases:

  • Phase 1 (all properties north of Evelyn Ave.) start the program March 2022
  • Phase 2 (properties from Evelyn Ave. to El Camino Real Rd.) start the program August 2022
  • Phase 3 (all properties south of El Camino Real Rd.) start the program November 2022

Property managers in each phase will receive a letter and FAQ sheet (links below) a few months before their program starts. Residents in each phase will receive a letter and outreach kit 3-4 weeks before their program starts.

Food scraps
Items Accepted in Food Scraps Program
  • All food trimmings and plate scrapings, including meats and shellfish, eggs and dairy, fruits, vegetables and bakery items
  • Coffee filters and tea bags
  • Grease/Oil
  • Spoiled or freezer burned food from refrigerator cleanouts
  • Food must be placed in clear or compostable bags only, no black, white or other plastic bags
Not Acceptable Material
Items NOT Accepted in Food Scraps Program
  • No “compostable” foodware or containers
  • No glass, metal or plastic
  • No liquids (soups can be strained and the solids can go into the collection)
  • No white or black plastic bags
  • No paper or bathroom waste
  • No garbage, plastic gloves, foil wrappers, plastic straws or plastic stir-sticks
Program Details

Each multi-family unit will receive a recycling tote bag, a countertop pail to collect food scraps and outreach materials to explain the program. You can reuse produce, bread or other plastic bags (as long as they are clear) or even wrap the food scraps in newspaper. When your pail is full, place your scraps into the food scraps only cart, bin or chute in your complex.

Watch videos with Sunnyvale residents on the benefits of FoodCycle and how to make it a habit.
How food scraps are processed
How Food Scraps are Processed

Your food scraps are turned into:

  • Fertilizer amendment that keeps soil healthy
  • Electricity (energy production) through an anaerobic digester
  • FDA-approved animal feed ingredient for chicken, pigs and fish
Food Scraps Container Sizes
Food Collection Carts
Food Collection 1 Cubic Bins
Food Collection 2 Cubic Bins
Multifamily Organics Resources
Download PDF
How to FoodCycle

English • Spanish • Chinese

Download PDF
Letter for Multifamily Property Managers

Download PDF

Download PDF
FAQ for Multifamily Property Managers

Download PDF

Download PDF
How to Recycle Yard Trimmings

English • Spanish • Chinese