In 2016 Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 into law, setting strict standards for methane emissions in California to combat climate change. Food waste in landfills is one of California’s largest sources of methane, which is a super pollutant and has 84 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide. To tackle this problem, the law sets a strict goal to reduce food waste in landfills by 50% by 2020, and 75% by 2025. This means that all that food waste needs to be diverted from the regular landfill into organics recycling programs, such as composting or using scraps for animal feed. This new law mandates organics recycling and will go into effect on January 1, 2022. For more information and the full bill text, visit https://zerowastesonoma.gov/sb1383.
What does this mean for residents (and multifamily properties with fewer than 5 units)?
Residents are required to use their green curbside cart and properly sort organic material out of the landfill. For information on what can be placed in the organics cart, click here.
What does this mean for multi-family properties?
Multi-family properties will be required to divert organics and yard waste from the landfill into the green cart. It is also mandatory to provide organics containers (alongside garbage and recycling) on premises for tenants, staff, etc. New tenants must receive information on proper waste sorting within 14 days of move-in. Property managers must provide annual education to all tenants on proper sorting. See our Multi-Family Service Guide for more information.
Download a template letter announcing new organics recycling on your property. (ENGLISH) (SPANISH)
What does this mean for businesses?
Businesses will be required to divert organics and yard waste from the landfill into the green cart. This can be done through SCRR’s collection services or via self-haul; however, if self-hauling organics, be sure to keep records of tonnage in the event of an audit. Businesses are also required to provide organics containers (alongside garbage and recycling) on premises for employees, customers, etc. See our Commercial Service Guide for more information.
Download a template letter announcing new organics recycling at your business. (ENGLISH) (SPANISH)
The law also mandates that 20% of edible food be recovered to feed the hungry. Certain businesses will be required to donate excess edible food that would otherwise be thrown away. This responsibility lies on “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” businesses. Tier 1 includes wholesale food producers, supermarkets, food distributors, etc. Tier 2 includes large restaurants, large venues with food service, etc. Zero Waste Sonoma will be reaching out to both Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses to create a food donation plan.
SCRR will continue to provide organics service to residences, businesses, and multifamily properties. For those who are not currently recycling organics, we can set up service and provide training or educational materials to help with the transition to mandated organics recycling. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about setting up service.
Together we can reduce the effects of climate change and food insecurity by properly disposing of food waste.
For information from the Town, visit https://www.townofwindsor.com/1276/SB-1383-Fighting-Climate-Change.