To prevent edible food waste, consider the following:

The fall and winter holidays are a time filled with family, friends, and shared meals. While enjoying these celebrations, it is important to keep in mind the journey your food has taken from the ground to your plate, and its life beyond the plate as well. 20% of the material Ventura residents send to the landfill from their homes is made up of food waste. Half of that is inedible food scraps, but the other half is preventable, edible food that could have been saved from going to waste.

Food sent to the landfill decomposes and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Methane has 84 times the warming potential as carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Not only is the methane created by food waste in landfills a considerable driver of climate change, but it is also representative of other resources lost, including, but not limited to, fresh water, energy, land, and labor.

Fortunately, Ventura residents have options to combat food waste in landfills. To prevent edible food waste, consider the following:

Plan your meal in advance. A lot of food waste can be prevented simply by not overpreparing too much food for your gathering.

Store leftovers properly. The way leftovers are stored can have a significant impact on how long those leftovers stay fresh. Visit, use the FoodKeeper App, or check out our website for storage tips.

Get creative with leftovers. Leftover rolls can become bread pudding; mashed potatoes can become fritters – have fun with your leftovers so you enjoy eating the extra food before it starts to turn.

As for the inedible food scraps or food that does go uneaten before it turns, Ventura residents can utilize the residential food waste recycling program.

Bag up the scraps (any bag will do).

Toss it into your yard waste bin or your designated food waste container, depending on your waste service.

The food waste recycling program accepts all food, including cooked or raw meat and bones, bread, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Go ahead and toss that turkey carcass in there! The collected food waste will be recycled into soil amendment products that benefit our soil and environment.

Lastly, for those who want to ensure their food scraps stay as local as possible, City of Ventura residents are invited to join the Ventura Compost Co-op, where members can drop off their food scraps at Cornucopia Community Gardens to be composted on-site.

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