Organics Recycling

Senate Bill (SB) 1383 Pie chart that breaks down 67% waste as organic and 33% waste as non-organic and other stats on food

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. 

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. SB 1383 Organics Collection Programs will begin in Nevada County in January 2025, pending completion of the McCourtney Road Transfer Station Renovation Project. 

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.

Nevada County Forum: Big Changes Coming to Your Garbage Collection

  1. Assembly Bill History
  2. Edible Food
  3. Resources
  4. Organics Recycling Guide
  5. Self-Hauling Organic Waste

Assembly BIll (AB) 939

AB 939, passed in 1989, 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.

Assembly BIll (AB) 341

Passed in 2012, 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) 1826

Passed in 2016, 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.