Senate Bill (SB) 1383
Have you heard the news? New statewide organic waste regulations (SB 1383) became effective January 1, 2022, in California. These regulations require residents and businesses to recycle their organic waste – things like all food scraps (vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, grains, and coffee grounds), food-soiled paper products (paper towels, pizza boxes, egg cartons, coffee filters, and tea bags) yard waste, paper, and cardboard.
Organic waste is targeted because it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas when it decomposes in a landfill. Landfills are the third-largest source of methane in California. Organic materials in landfills emit 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Everyone can do their part to reduce these harmful emissions by subscribing to collection services.
- Generator Requirements
As a result of SB 1383, the County must offer a 3-bin solid waste collection service to all residents and businesses, each of whom must also comply with the new law by separately disposing of organic materials (yard waste and food waste). Diversion of organic materials to compost facilities will cut methane emissions and preserve our landfill capacity for the benefit of future generations.
- Methods for Prevention
There are still things that we all can do as individuals or businesses to help make a difference – such as preventing food waste or taking steps to keep food waste and other organic materials out of our landfills. Find tips for more purposeful shopping and cooking, and good food storage techniques, check out the Environmental Protection Agency's Reducing Food Waste at Home page. Composting at home is also a great option.
- Environmental Benefits
Reduce Methane Emissions
• Landfills undergo anaerobic decomposition which generates methane, whereas compost piles undergo aerobic decomposition which sequesters carbon dioxide – preventing more greenhouse gases from releasing into our atmosphere and contributing further to climate change.
• Given the rich nutrient and vitamin content of compost, this addition helps plants grow healthier and more nutritious!
• Placing organic material back into the soil increases its water-holding capabilities, making it more drought resilient.
- Self-Hauling Organic Waste
Businesses may choose to self-haul organic waste using personal or company vehicle(s) and employee(s). Businesses requesting an Alternative Compliance waiver from collection service from a non-exclusive franchised hauler and choosing to self-haul organic waste must agree to keep receipts or weight tickets from the processing facility and proof that material is being recycled. These records must be made available upon County request.
- Edible Food
Edible food is defined as food that is safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, too much of it ends up being wasted. More efforts are needed to get wasted edible food to those who are hungry.
SB 1383 establishes two “tiers” of commercial edible food generators to which the regulations apply. Beginning January 1, 2022, Tier 1 generators must arrange for recovery of edible food and keep a record of recovery activities including a contract with a food recovery organization(s). Beginning January 1, 2024, Tier 2 generators will be required to the requirements described above.
Tier 1 Commercial Edible Food Generators
- Grocery stores with a total facility size equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet;
- Food service providers;
- Food distributors; and
- Wholesale food vendors.
Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators
- Restaurants with 250 or more seats, or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet;
- Hotels with an on‐site food facility and 200 or more rooms;
- Health facilities with an on‐site food facility and 100 or more beds;
- Large venues;
- Large events;
- State agencies with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats or total cafeteria facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet; and
- Local education agency facilities with an on‐site food facility.
For more information including model contracts, please visit CalRecycle's Food Recovery page.
Commercial Edible Food Generator Requirements
- Secure contracts or written agreements with Edible Food Recovery Services and/or Organizations to recover the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed of. Visit the CalRecycle Food Donors page to read their Model Food Recovery Agreement to use as a reference when creating your own agreement.
- Maintain a list and copy of all Edible Food Recovery Services and/or Organization's contracts or agreements that collect or receive its edible food.
- Maintain a record of the following for each contract or written agreement; 1) name, address, and contact information of the service or organization, 2) the types of food that will be collected by or self-hauled to the service or organization, 3) the established frequency that food will be collected or self-hauled, and 4) the pounds of food per month collected or self-hauled to a service or organization for food recovery.
Potential Places to Donate Food:
- Placer County Food Bank
- Sierra Community House
- Interfaith Ministry
- Nevada County Food Bank
For more detailed information, visit:
- Organics Recycling Guide
- Assembly Bill (AB) 1826
This extended mandatory commercial and multi-family residential recycling requirements to add organics recycling. Under AB 1826, jurisdictions are obligated to identify covered generators that will be subject to compliance, ensure that organics recycling services are available to them, and perform outreach/education and compliance monitoring to make them aware of the requirement to participate. As with AB 341, CalRecycle requires reporting on program offerings and compliance efforts.
- Assembly Bill (AB) 341
This increased the statewide diversion goal to 75% and instituted mandatory recycling service for all businesses, multi-family properties (5 units or more), and public entities that generate more than four cubic yards of solid waste per week. Additionally, the Bill requires education and outreach programs to be implemented to inform covered generators of their obligation to meet the terms of the regulation. To measure efforts made to comply with this policy, CalRecycle requires an annual report which details the commercial recycling program, including endeavors in education, outreach, and monitoring.
- Assembly Bill (AB) 939
AB 939 established a 50% diversion requirement for all solid waste generated in the State of California. To measure progress towards this goal, local jurisdictions or their recognized Regional Agencies are required to report population, waste tonnage disposed of, materials tonnage diverted, programs implemented, and other information to CalRecycle via the Electronic Annual Report (EAR) in August of every year. AB 939 also mandated that long-term waste management plans be produced and updated regularly by jurisdictions or their representative Regional Agencies.