Food Composting for Businesses


 Commercial food composting

After a successful pilot program, the Food Composting Program is now available to ALL of our commercial customers.  Rates for City of Napa (NRWS) businesses are a 25% discount off the commercial trash rates.  Food composting service for Napa County Recycling & Waste Services (NCRWS) businesses is included in your monthly rate.

The 80+ businesses currently participating in the program send over 100 tons per month to the composting facility instead of the landfill.  Join them!

The food composting program is for any business large or small that generates food scraps and food soiled paper, including restaurants, hotels, wineries, assisted living facilities, grocery stores, schools, manufacturers, cafeterias, coffee shops, etc.  NCRWS businesses are located in unincorporated areas of southern Napa County (click here for a map of service areas).  City businesses that generate food scraps should contact us for more info on the NRWS food composting program.




What is accepted for composting?

All food scraps (including meat & dairy) as well as soiled paper and other compostables – click here for details.

What containers should I use and when will they be picked up?

We provide 65 gallon green carts for service (look for yellow stickers as well).  For indoor equipment, the County/City provides 23 gallon “Slim Jims” or 10 gallon Brutes – which your staff empties into the 65 gallon carts.

In addition to equipment, Napa Recycling, City and County staff will provide signage and decals to reinforce program details and practices.  We will also help train your staff and provide printed materials that you can add to employee orientation packets.

How do I sign up for the program?food composting green bins

Call Napa Recycling at 255-5200 to sign up.  We will schedule a visit to your business to assist in estimating your equipment needs and ensure that your business has adequate space for the composting containers.

Where does the food composting go?

The material is sent to Napa’s composting facility (instead of to a landfill in Solano County with the rest of Napa’s trash), where it’s turned into organic compost.  Residents, businesses, and agricultural producers use this compost to enrich soil, prevent erosion, conserve water and fight climate change.  Find out more here.

Besides doing something important to conserve the Earth’s limited resources and to reduce greenhouse gases, what are the benefits of participating?

Since food scraps/compostables make up a significant portion of waste from certain businesses, those businesses should be able to downsize their current garbage service and SAVE MONEY.  We can help you switch your service level and calculate potential savings.  (Please note that during the City of Napa pilot, customers are asked to keep their current service level – we will re-evaluate rates at the end of the pilot)

Also, in this competitive economic landscape, your customers and/or guests appreciate hearing that your business is making extra efforts to protect the environment.


Equipment & Service

  • Provide convenient, clearly labeled containers in areas where food & compostables are generated.  Napa Recycling can provide signs, posters and decals.
  • Use containers sized appropriately for employee lifting.  Food scraps can be very heavy, so large containers should be avoided.  Smaller interior bins are provided with this program – they can be emptied in to the brown rolling carts on a regular basis.
  • The rolling carts must be out for pickup by 6am.  Roll them out the night before if you keep them indoors.
  • You may choose to line indoor compost containers with Biobags or other certified compostable bags.  Alternatives to Biobags must be discussed with Napa Recycling to avoid any composting facility issues – here is a current list of certified compostable bags.  Compostable bags can be purchased through your product vendor, at a local retail location, or online.
  • Where the public will use the containers, be sure to provide ample and clear signage and always place the compost containers next to trash and recycling containers for convenience.  It is important to monitor for contamination on a regular basis and make adjustments as needed.
  • Always keep lids closed on the brown carts to minimize odor and/or vectors.

Employee Education

  • Announce the new Food Composting Program at a staff meeting.  The president or CEO should send a message of support “from the top.”
  • Make training about the Program part of new employee orientation/training.
  • Designate one or more staff members to oversee the program, monitor for contamination, and provide on-going feedback to employees.
  • Encourage employee suggestions for program improvement.


  • Just as with garbage bins and carts, it is a good idea to periodically clean food composting carts.
  • These same materials have always been in your garbage…with proper handling the Food Composting Program will not make your business messier.
  • Contact Napa Recycling to receive additional carts.
  • Publicize your ‘green’ program!  Let your customers know that you are composting food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill.

Additional Notes

  • Liquids, including cooking oil, are not accepted in the food composting program – click here for recycling options.
  • If you have edible food, visit our food donation page here.


The EPA has recently released a free, new resource to reduce food and packaging waste! The Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit helps restaurants, grocers, caterers, and other commercial kitchens save money and reduce their environmental impact.