For important information about Organic Waste Recycling start dates and green bin information/presentations:  Read more in “Homes Serviced by the City”

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New Organic Waste Recycling Program

Organic Waste MaterialsCalifornia State Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), requires the reduction of organic waste disposed of in landfills. Organic waste is 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.

In order to comply with SB 1383, and to make San Diego a more sustainable and thriving place for everyone, the City of San Diego is pleased to introduce a new Organic Waste Recycling program for all City residents. The program – which represents the biggest change to trash and recycling in San Diego’s history – supports the City’s Zero Waste and Climate Action Plan goals.

Organic waste collection services for households serviced by the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department will begin in January 2023 and will continue as a phased rollout, with completion expected by mid-2023.

For information about when you can start participating in organic waste recycling, what items can go in the new green bin, and other vital details, please refer to the Organic Waste Recycling Frequently Asked Questions page.

Organic Waste Recycling Webinars and Workshops

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 climate change. Organic waste in landfills also emits air pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which contributes to health conditions like asthma. To address this issue, Senate Bill 1383 was signed into law and targets the reduction of pollutants, including methane. Cities throughout California must meet the new reduction limits through organic waste reduction and recycling.

Collection and Recycling

Collection recycling

Implementing Senate Bill 1383 requires extensive procedural changes and significant coordination. The City of San Diego is developing collection operations, amending agreements with non-exclusive franchise haulers, amending the City’s municipal code, enacting building requirements, preparing enforcement responsibilities and strategizing public education and outreach efforts. Participation in this exciting new organic waste recycling program is vital to San Diego's future.

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.

Homes Serviced by the City

 

The City of San Diego is proud to introduce weekly Organic Waste Recycling collection services.

  • Kitchen pails are being delivered to all City-serviced residences.   
  • Green bins are being delivered to City-serviced residences that have not previously been provided with a green bin.
  • When the green bin and kitchen pail arrive, each household can make a big difference for the environment by collecting organic waste, discarding the contents into the green bin, and setting the green bin out for collection weekly at your normal trash collection location.
  • Deliveries are scheduled based on your current trash collection day. Green bins will be placed on the street, next to the curb, in front of your residence. 
  • The distribution of new green bins for organic waste recycling will be rolled out by route. If you received a new green bin, you will have the option to exchange the container for a smaller or larger container size or to request an additional bin (requests will be reviewed for eligibility). Available green bin options are a 35-gallon, 65-gallon and 95-gallon.

  • All bin requests can be made on the Get It Done app at sandiego.gov/get-it-done or by calling 858-694-7000. 

Estimated Delivery Schedule for Homes Serviced by the City of San Diego

Current Trash Collection Day Delivery Months Total Green Bins to be Delivered
Wednesday January - February 64,224
Thursday March - April 62,696
Friday May - June 51,207
Monday June - July 44,743
Tuesday July - August 44,772
  Total: 267,642

Helpful Resources to Prepare for Your New Green Bin and Kitchen Pail 

Helpful Resources After You Receive Your New Green Bin and Kitchen Pail 

Curbside Organic Waste Recycling Guide 

Welcome to your new green bin!

Organic Waste Recycling Steps

Helpful tips to prevent any odors or buildup in the new green bin can be found here.

 

Businesses and Multifamily Serviced by a Private Hauler

Organic waste recycling options for businesses and multifamily apartments and condominiums serviced by a private hauler:

City staff can provide helpful tips and technical assistance for successful setup of organic waste recycling at your site. Please contact sdrecyclingworks@sandiego.gov or 858-694-7000.

Businesses can learn more about the City of San Diego's Commercial Food Scraps Composting Program here.

Icon for food waste prevention Food Waste Prevention and Reduction

Please note that this section is currently under development, and more food waste prevention and reduction information and resources will be added soon.

Icon for food recovery Edible Food Recovery from Businesses

California is working towards a 2025 goal to redirect and donate 20% of edible food to those in need. SB 1383 categorizes regulated food donors into two tiers that must start donating surplus edible food in 2022 and 2024 to food recovery organizations.

Food Donation

Commercial Edible Food Generators

Tier One Businesses - Effective January 1, 2022

  • Supermarkets with gross annual sales of $200,000 or more.
  • Grocery Stores with a facility size of 10,000 square feet or more.
  • Food Service Providers.
  • Food Distributors.
  • Wholesale Food Vendors.

Tier Two Businesses - Effective January 1, 2024

  • Restaurant with 250 or more seats, or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet.
  • Hotel with an on-site food facility and 200 or more rooms.
  • Health facility with an on-site food facility and 100 or more beds.
  • Large venue.
  • Large event.
  • A state agency with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats or a total cafeteria facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet.
  • A local education agency with an on-site food facility.

 

Food Recovery Organizations

Food recovery organizations and services that receive and collect excess edible food (that would otherwise be disposed) from commercial edible food generators are subject to recordkeeping, reporting and outreach requirements as outlined in thePDF icon Recycling Ordinance. Find the details of these designations and their corresponding requirements below:

Food Recovery Organizations: groups collecting or receiving edible food from commercial edible food generators with a written food recovery agreement.

Food Recovery Services: groups collecting and transporting edible food from commercial edible food generators with a written food recovery agreement. (Food recovery services transport food to food recovery organizations).

Requirements for Food Recovery Organizations

  • Maintain records of the following for each commercial edible food generator from which the organization receives edible food:
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • Contact information.
    • Pounds per month of edible food received.
  • Maintain records of the following for each food recovery service from which the organization receives edible food:
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • Contact information.
  • Submit an annual report by Jan. 31 of each year to the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department with the above information including the quantities of edible food received reported in pounds per year (see reporting form below).
  • Provide written information of California and Federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protection to commercial edible food generators from which the Organization collects edible food.

Requirements for Food Recovery Services

  • Maintain records of the following for each commercial edible food generator from which the service collects edible food:
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • Contact information.
    • Pounds per month of edible food collected.
  • Maintain records of the following for each food recovery organization to which the service transports edible food
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • Contact information.
    • Pounds per month of edible food transported.
  • Submit an annual report by Jan. 31 of each year to the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department with the information above including the quantities of edible food collected and transported reported in pounds per year (see reporting form below).
  • Provide written information of California and Federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protection to commercial edible food generators from which the Service collects edible food.

Annual Reporting Form

Annual reports are for the period of Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 and are due on Jan. 31 of each year, commencing in 2023.

You may complete and submit an annual report here

 

      Learn more about:

      Additional Resources:

      Resources and Help

      Tips for keeping your green bin clean 

      Get more information and assistance by contacting the Environmental Services Department at sdrecyclingworks@sandiego.gov or 858-694-7000. For program updates, please continue to check this page.

      Visit CalRecycle to learn more about the statewide SB 1383 organic waste recycling and edible food recovery requirements.