Senate Bill 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) passed in 2016 as part of California’s larger strategy to combat climate change. This law is the largest and most prescriptive waste management legislative update in California since AB 939. 
California is already experiencing the effects of climate change: rising sea levels, reduced snowpack, wildfires, drought, heat waves

Fight Climate Change’s Impact on Californians by Recycling Organic Waste

Organics like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard make up half of what Californians dump in landfills. Organic waste in landfills releases:

  • 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Air pollutants like PM 2.5, which contributes to health conditions like asthma.

Recycling organic waste and recovering edible food is a fast track to fighting climate change and improving public health and the environment.

California’s Super-Pollutant Reduction Strategy Benefits Our Communities

There are many benefits if we successfully implement California’s super pollutant reduction strategy, including:

Children running through a field on a sunny day with clean air

Environmental benefits, such as fighting climate change and improving air quality 

Person pouring food scraps into compost bin

Less recyclable material in landfills

Child eating corn on the cob

Millions of meals directed to the 1 in 5 Californians without enough to eat

Two employees turning on an aeration machine to aerate a compost pile

15,000 new permanent green jobs

City buildings

New recycled products like electricity from biomass conversion

Freeway with few cars on the road

Lowered greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1.7 million cars off the road a year

Although there are costs associated with increasing our organics recycling infrastructure and food recovery networks, they are far less than those associated with other programs that would fight climate change, like reimagining our transportation infrastructure. This is the most cost-effective way to fight climate change and the health and economic benefits far outweigh our investments.

Jurisdictions Lead the Implementation of SB 1383

Jurisdictions play a vital role in implementing SB 1383 and are responsible for the following requirements:

Hauler employee pouring organics into truck

Providing Mandatory Organics Collection Services to All Residents and Businesses

Landfill, recycling, and compost bins in a business

Conducting Education and Outreach to the Community 

city road divider with mulch under trees

Procuring Recycled Organics Products

Children eating carrots

Establishing Food Recovery Programs

Aerial view of a compost facility

Securing Access to Recycling and Food Recovery Capacity


Inspector talking to a food business employee

Monitoring Compliance and Conducting Enforcement

Beyond Waste Management and Recycling Operations

Every department within a jurisdiction will be affected by the implementation of SB 1383 and will have a role to play. Staff in every department will need to understand how SB 1383 impacts their work, and implementation may require adding staff or contracting with other entities, such as environmental health inspectors or consultants. 

Jurisdictions may need to increase funding and staffing resources across multiple departments and divisions to support their respective roles in implementing and maintaining SB 1383 compliant programs. 

Jurisdictions are responsible for coordinating with city and county planners, waste haulers, waste processing facilities, recyclers, commercial businesses, residents, and edible food recovery organizations. Jurisdictions may task the following entities with responsibilities to implement this new law. 

City Councils and Boards of Supervisors will need to pass local ordinances to require all residents and businesses to subscribe to services. City Managers and Chief Administrative Officers will be involved in capacity planning, directing procurement, and establishing edible food recovery programs. Finance and Legal staff will be involved in local enforcement ordinances, new collection fees, and ensuring programs are adequately resourced. Purchasing staff will be central to procuring recycled organic waste products and recycled-content paper and paper products. Public Works staff are involved with hauler agreements, local waste management processing facilities, organic waste recycling facilities, and civil engineering activities where compost may be utilized. Public Parks staff may be involved with assessing the need for local compost application to parks and city landscaped areas. Environmental Health staff may be tasked with enforcement duties, including inspecting commercial food generators for compliance with edible food recovery requirements. Public Transportation and Fleet departments could be involved in procuring renewable natural gas for city and county owned vehicles.

Detailed SB 1383 Implementation Guidance: Understanding Jurisdiction Responsibilities

Penalties for Noncompliance

Jurisdictions, organic waste and edible food generators, facilities, and haulers are all subject to penalties for non-compliance. 
Each jurisdiction is responsible for conducting appropriate oversite of hauler collection and processing contractors, consultants, and other third-party entities, as applicable.

Ultimately, each jurisdiction is accountable for generators’ compliance, and CalRecycle may fine or penalize the jurisdiction for non-compliant programs beginning in 2022. 

Detailed Guidance Document: SB 1383 Compliance Process

Resources

CalRecycle has developed tools to assist jurisdictions with implementing this new short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategy. City council members, city and county boards, and other high-level decision makers need to start planning now to adequately resource and implement the programs that will be required starting January 1, 2022. 

On CalRecycle’s Education web page, you’ll find: 

  • PowerPoint presentations with talking points 
  • Short videos
  • Models to assist with implementation
  • Model franchise agreements and exhibits
  • Model mandatory organics collection service ordinance
  • Model procurement policy