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:
Environmental benefits, such as fighting climate change and improving air quality
Less recyclable material in landfills
Millions of meals directed to the 1 in 5 Californians without enough to eat
15,000 new permanent green jobs
New recycled products like electricity from biomass conversion
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:
Providing Mandatory Organics Collection Services to All Residents and Businesses
Conducting Education and Outreach to the Community
Procuring Recycled Organics Products
Establishing Food Recovery Programs
Securing Access to Recycling and Food Recovery Capacity
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.
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
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