San Diego

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New Food & Yard Waste Rules - SB 1383

California State Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), requires the reduction of organic waste disposed of in landfills. Organic waste is comprised of food scraps and food-soiled paper from kitchens and food operations and yard waste such as garden and landscape waste, organic textiles and carpets and wood waste. Organic Waste Materials

Reason for Changes

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, organic waste accounts for a significant portion of California’s waste stream. Left to decompose in landfills, the organic waste releases methane, a gas that traps the sun’s heat, warms the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. To address this issue, then-Governor Jerry Brown, signed Senate Bill 1383 into law which targets the reduction of pollutants, including methane. Cities throughout California must meet the new reduction limits through organic waste reduction.

Collection and Recycling

Starting in 2022, the City and City-certified private waste haulers will expand organic waste collection services for residents and businesses. Food and yard waste collected will be recycled using:

  • Composting facilities that make soil amendments, materials that are added to soil to change and improve it.
  • Anaerobic digestion facilities, technology and microorganisms break down organic waste in closed spaces where there is no oxygen and create renewable natural gas.

Food Recovery from BusinessesFood Donation

Starting in 2022, large food-service businesses must donate surplus edible food to food recovery organizations with additional businesses starting in 2024. California is working towards a 2025 goal to redirect and donate 20% of edible food to those in need.

Current Efforts

Senate Bill 1383 will require extensive procedural changes and significant coordination amongst different stakeholders. The City of San Diego is in the process of developing collection operations, adopting purchasing policies, amending the City’s Municipal Recycling Code, enacting building requirements, preparing enforcement responsibilities and strategizing public education and outreach efforts.

As a result of this enormous planning effort, changes to yard waste collection for City of San Diego serviced residences will not begin until the summer of 2022. This timing includes those City serviced residents with existing green bins.

Businesses may request assistance now with on-site food scraps recycling and setting up a food recovery program.

Get more information by contacting the Environmental Services Department at sdrecyclingworks@sandiego.gov or 858-694-7000. Residents and businesses will be notified prior to implementation of the new recycling rules through mailed notifications. Your participation in protecting California’s environment and economy from the impacts of climate change is vital. 

For program updates, please continue to check this page.