SB 1383: CalRecycle’s Organic Waste Recycling Requirements
About SB 1383
In September 2016, the State Legislature set short-lived climate pollutants reduction targets for California in Senate Bill (SB)1383, as a statewide effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses (such as methane, a byproduct of organic waste) in an effort to combat climate change.
SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to reduce the amount of organic waste disposal in landfills (50% reduction by 2020 and 75% by 2025). It also sets a goal to recover at least 20% of edible food that is thrown away by 2025 by donating it to people in need.
From 2016-2020, the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) worked to develop regulations to achieve the goals of SB 1383. These new regulations were finalized by CalRecycle in November 2020 and took effect in January 2022.
SB 1383 Importance
The State has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improving human health, and create clean jobs that support resilient local economies. Implementing the statewide plan under SB 1383 will reduce short-lived, harmful, super pollutants with significant warming impacts, and is essential to achieving California's climate goals.
Organic waste in landfills emits 20% of the state's methane. Methane is a climate super pollutant; 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard, make up 1/3 of what Californians send to landfills. View more information at the CalRecycle website.
The State defines "Organic waste" as food, landscape and pruning trimmings, lumber, wood, manure, cardboard, paper products, printing and writing paper, and other plant and animal-based products.
Preparing for SB 1383
The City of Lake Elsinore is required by State Mandate to implement all provisions of SB 1383. The City has been diligently working toward compliance with SB 1383 with the introduction of mandatory organic waste collection for businesses and multi-family properties since 2017. In addition, all residential properties now have a 3-container solid waste, recycling and organics recycling program in place. However, there are many other requirements of SB 1383 that will take time to develop and implement.
The major components or elements of SB 1383 are summarized below along with the status of our progress. View the full regulations (PDF) here.
- Organics and Recycling Collection. One of the main requirements of SB 1383 is to ensure that all residents and businesses are provided with recycling and organics collection services. Implementation of these services for residents will begin in early-2022. SB 1383 requires specific colors for waste collection containers: Trash containers can be all grey or all black or simply have a black lid, organics containers can be all green or have a black body with a green lid, and recycling containers can be all blue or have a black body with a blue lid. All new containers must be clearly labeled with what does and does not go into them.
- Current status: Lake Elsinore currently has recycling and organic waste collection services available to all businesses and multi-family customers. Single-family residence green waste carts will be used to collect organic waste (including food waste). As any residential collection carts reach the end of their useful life and need replacement, they will be replaced with SB 1383 color-compliant carts.
- Additional Steps Needed to Comply with SB 1383: While the City does not need to replace all of the existing residential carts until 2036, any carts issued to residents after January 1, 2022, will be color compliant via the lid.
- Contamination Monitoring: The regulations require waste audits to be conducted on collection routes annually to determine evidence of contamination (recycling and organic waste not being sorted correctly). Contamination found in any of the carts requires recording, reporting and follow-up to educate customers and ensure proper sorting practices are in place. This is a State requirement that will be carried out by our franchised hauler, CR&R Incorporated. You may see these auditors in your neighborhoods or businesses in the near future.
- Current status: Audits will be conducted by CR&R staff through "lid flipping" and they are there to look for contamination only. This process will begin on or about April 1, 2022.
- Additional Steps needed to Comply with SB 1383: The City will be working with CR&R to further design a full contamination monitoring program to fulfill the SB 1383 requirements.
- Education and Outreach. SB 1383 regulations requires outreach to educate residents, schools, businesses, and edible food generators on an annual basis. The outreach must be translated into multiple languages, based on the most recent census results.
- Current status: The City is currently working on creating education and outreach material that will be distributed to all residents, schools, businesses, and edible food generators.
- Additional Steps Needed to Comply with SB 1383: The City will need to review its outreach program to ensure the education is targeted and assists in meeting the goals and objectives of the program.
- Capacity Planning. The City is required to collaborate with the County of Riverside (County) and surrounding jurisdictions to determine the necessary organic waste recycling and edible food recovery capacity needed to divert organic waste and edible food from the landfill.
- Current status: CR&R transports all organic waste (including commercial food waste) collected in Lake Elsinore to the Anaerobic Digester (AD) located in Perris, Ca. This state-of-the-art facility converts organic waste to a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and high-grade compost.
- Procurement Requirements. Beginning January 1, 2022, the City must procure a certain quantity of recovered organic waste products annually. Jurisdictions can meet their target by procuring any combination of eligible recyclable content products such as compost, mulch, and renewable energy. The City is also required to purchase recycled-content paper.
- Current status: The City has a purchasing policy in place that requires the purchase of recycled-content paper for City use. The City receives a credit from organics material diverted to the AD facility from CR&R, but it is not enough to fulfill the SB 1383 purchasing targeted quantity.
- Additional Steps Needed to Comply with SB 1383: The City's Procurement Plan will provide strategies for the City to meet its procurement quantities requirement.
- Edible Food Recovery. The City must identify edible food generators that are required to implement an edible food recovery program and connect them with a local food recovery organization. The City must also conduct annual outreach to edible food generators about their requirements under SB 1383 and perform annual inspections to ensure they have contracts in place with edible food recovery organizations and are keeping records of all recovered edible food.
- Current status: The edible food recovery program is currently being handled by the City of Lake Elsinore. The City has been working in partnership with the County and CR&R to identify all the edible food generators in Lake Elsinore that will be affected by SB 1383.
- Additional Steps Needed to Comply with SB 1383: Edible food recovery outreach and inspection programs will need to be fully developed in partnership with the County of Riverside, Department of Environmental Health.