Food bank volunteers packing bags of groceries to distribute to Californians in need.

SB 1383 requires that by 2025 the state must recover for people to eat 20 percent of still safe food that would have gone to landfills. This is a statewide goal that California must collectively achieve.

Individual jurisdictions and individual food donors are not required to meet the 20 percent food recovery rate.

To achieve this statewide goal, SB 1383’s regulations require mandated food donors to donate the maximum amount of their still fresh food that they would have sent to landfills.

A palette of fresh produce sits in a warehouse waiting to be distributed to needy Californians.

Jurisdictions Must Have Food Recovery Programs

The regulations also require jurisdictions to implement edible food recovery programs to help increase food recovery throughout the state. Each jurisdiction’s food recovery program must assess current edible food recovery capacity.

Jurisdictions should start assessing their community’s current edible food recovery capacity to prepare. In some communities, food donors may have more food available for donation than food banks and non-profits can currently accept.

Jurisdictions must actively expand and create new infrastructure to grow food recovery networks.

SB 1383 allows mandated food donors work to with food recovery organizations like food banks and pantries, soup kitchens, and food recovery services that collect excess edible food and deliver it to a food recovery organization.


Counties Lead the Food Recovery Effort

Food bank volunteers with masks on load up the trunk of a car with food donations.

The county--and each city, regional agency, and special district that provides solid waste collection services within the county-must plan for adequate capacity for edible food recovery. See below for the steps for capacity planning.

The county will lead this effort by coordinating with the cities, regional agencies, and special districts that provide solid waste collection services that are located within the county. Regulations require food recovery capacity planning to at least:

  • Estimate the amount of edible food that mandated food donors in the county would send to landfills.
  • Identify available existing capacity at food recovery organizations and services that could take the surplus food from food donors in the county.
  • Identify whether new or expanded capacity is needed to recover edible food disposed by commercial edible food generators within the jurisdictions within the county.

Counties in coordination with jurisdictions and regional agencies located within the county must actively expand and create new infrastructure to grow food recovery networks if additional capacity is needed.

Capacity Planning Assessment

A capacity planning assessment could ask the following questions:

  • How much edible food is currently disposed by mandated food donors in the jurisdiction?
  • How many food recovery organizations and services operate in the jurisdiction?
  • What infrastructure and how much capacity do these recovery organizations and services have?
  • Are there plans to purchase or build any new infrastructure ?
  • How much food is currently being recovered by these organizations and services?
  • What kinds of food do these organizations and services accept for food recovery? (e.g. produce, fresh grocery, cold prepared foods, hot prepared foods, etc.)
  • How much additional food could they recover each month?
  • What types of food donors do they typically recover food from? (e.g. wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, etc.)
  • How many new food donors could they add?
  • If they cannot accept more food or add new donors, what would they need most to recover additional food and begin working with new donors? (e.g. more funding for paid staff, refrigeration, storage space, refrigerated vehicles, paid drivers, donation matching software, inventory management software, kitchen equipment, etc.)
  • What new infrastructure needs to be built and does this require new funding?
  • Are there proposed new or expanded edible food recovery organizations and services and what is their capacity to recover the amount of food mandated food donors expect to donate?

The county, in coordination with jurisdictions and regional agencies in the county, must consult with food recovery organizations and services about existing or proposed new food recovery capacity.

If a county identifies a need for new or expanded edible food recovery capacity, then each of its jurisdictions must submit an implementation schedule to CalRecycle with a plan to ensure enough new or expanded capacity to recover the edible food currently disposed of by its mandated food donors.

Edible Food Recovery Capacity Planning Tools

CalRecycle is developing tools and guidance to assist counties, cities, regional agencies, and special districts to meet SB 1383’s food recovery capacity planning requirements. CalRecycle will update the guidance as more information becomes available and best management practices are established.

Guidance for Jurisdictions: How to Identify SB 1383 Commercial Edible Food Generators

For capacity planning, jurisdictions must first identify which commercial edible food generators with a physical location within the jurisdiction are commercial edible food generators. SB 1383 regulations list 12 categories of commercial edible food generators that will be required to send surplus food to food recovery organizations.

CalRecycle has compiled guidance and best practices to help jurisdictions identify regulated commercial edible food generators that will be needed to participate in food recovery, including:

Estimating Edible Food Disposed by Mandated Food Donors

Recovery Capacity Planning Calculator Tool

SB 1383 requires counties (in consultation with jurisdictions and regional agencies located within the county) to estimate the amount of edible food that will be disposed by commercial edible food generators that are located within the county.

This Excel based tool will help counties, jurisdictions, and regional agencies estimate:

  • The amount and types of edible food that are disposed by mandated food donors
  • The amount of existing capacity available at food recovery organizations
  • The amount of new capacity needed for recovery

Guidance Document: Estimating Edible Food Disposed by Mandated Food Donors

Designed to accompany the Excel tool, this guidance document provides information on estimating the amount of edible food disposed by type of commercial edible food generator. Users of the Excel tool can reference the guidance document to help them determine multiplication factors or can provide factors of their own.

Customizable Food Recovery Capacity Survey

This survey template complements the calculator tool and helps jurisdictions determine if they have sufficient infrastructure and capacity to recover the amount of edible food that is estimated to be disposed. Jurisdictions can customize the survey by adding, removing, or editing questions and then sending it out to local food recovery organizations and services to collect information about current food recovery infrastructure and capacity within the jurisdiction.

Reporting

Capacity planning will also help jurisdictions gather the necessary information they are required to report to CalRecycle regarding food recovery, including:

  • The number of mandated food donors located within the jurisdiction.
  • The number of food recovery services and organizations located and operating within the jurisdiction that contract with or have written agreements with mandated food donors.
  • Total pounds of edible food recovered by food recovery organizations and services that have contracts or written agreements pursuant to SB1383.
    • Food recovery organizations and services that voluntarily choose to participate in SB 1383 must report the total pounds collected in the previous calendar year to the one jurisdiction where their primary address is located. They are only required to report the total pounds collected from the mandated food donors with which they have a contract or written agreement pursuant to SB 1383.

Implementation Schedule

Jurisdictions that have not identified enough existing or new food recovery capacity must submit an implementation schedule to CalRecycle. The implementation schedule must include timelines and milestones for planning new or expanded capacity, including:

  1. Getting funding for edible food recovery infrastructure, including modifying franchise agreements or demonstrating other means of financially supporting the expansion of edible food recovery capacity.
  2. Identifying facilities, operations, and activities in the county that could increase food recovery capacity.

Provide Timelines for Plan

The implementation schedule must include timelines and milestones for planning new or expanded capacity, including:

  1. Getting funding for edible food recovery infrastructure, including modifying franchise agreements or demonstrating other means of financially supporting the expansion of edible food recovery capacity.
  2. Identifying facilities, operations, and activities in the county that could increase food recovery capacity.