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Recycling & Solid Waste



Home Backyard Composting Basics

In a successful pile you will find friendly bugs, worms, and micro-organisms that will do most of the composting for you. The following four essential ingredients provide these creatures with the best environment to do their “work.”

A healthy compost pile will contain the “big four”

1. Browns are carbon rich, dry, woody materials such as fallen leaves, hay, dried plants and weeds.

2. Greens are nitrogen rich, green, moist materials such as kitchen scraps, young weeds, and grass clippings. Your "green" sources will act as the activator in your pile.  See the table below for examples.

3. Water your pile until it is moist but not wet, or the consistency of a wrung-out sponge.

4. Air added to your pile will significantly speed up its decomposition.  You can do this by turning, or layering with bulky materials to create air spaces between materials

Do Compost Don't Compost

Fallen Leaves - browns

Finely chopped, woody prunings - browns

Pine needles - browns

Untreated wood sawdust - browns

Breads and Grains- greens

Tea bags - greens

Coffee grounds - greens

Egg shells - greens

Lawn clippings - greens

Young weeds - greens

Vegetable & fruit peels and scraps - greens

Manure from non-meat eating animals -

Meat & bones


Dairy products

Greasy foods

Plywood sawdust

Treated wood sawdust

Diseased plants

Dog, cat, or bird feces

Poison Oak

Bermuda grass, ivy & rhizome grasses

BBQ or coal ashes



Recycling and Solid Waste

Main Office
701 Ocean Street, Room 410
Santa Cruz, California 95060
(831) 454-2160

Buena Vista Landfill
(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 454-5154

Ben Lomond Transfer Station
(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 336-3951

Email Public Works

Kasey Kolassa
Recycling and Solid Waste Services

Tim Goncharoff
Integrated Waste Management
Programs Coordinator

Beau Hawksford
ZeroWaste Administrative Analyst

Mike Torrecillas
Operations Superintendent

Lisa Fusco
Cashiering Facilities Supervisor