California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Bill (SB 1383) goes into effect in 2022. One of the most significant changes will be the requirement for food scraps and edible food waste to be composted instead of thrown away.
Starting on January 1, 2022, food scraps, yard trimmings, and other forms of organic waste will be collected through curbside recycling programs. Food waste from stores, restaurants, and event venues also must be minimized and composted.
California has more than 480 cities, towns, and villages and almost 2,900 special districts. If you think about planning curbside compost recycling services in close to 3,500 areas, it’s easy to see how this new law is causing a stir. How are towns, cities, villages, and districts preparing for this new law?
Chula Vista officials believe the new food scrap and organic waste recycling program will be ready to start in early-2022. Fats, oil, and grease are not allowed as food waste and must be placed into a jar or bottle with a sealed lid for separate pick-up arranged by calling Republic Services.
Residents who currently pay a rental fee for their yard waste carts will find that rental fee eliminated, and they keep using that cart to recycle all organic matter. And, residents who don’t have a yard waste cart will get a free organic matter recycling cart.
Business owners should contact the Office of Sustainability to ensure they have the correct bin size to keep their costs to a minimum. The city will use outreach programs to help everyone adjust to this change.
Like many of the cities on this list, Coronado is working on getting a food recycling program set up in time for the January 1 start date. The city is going a step beyond that and asking people to think about reducing food waste. This means preventing food waste by only buying what you need and donating non-perishable food that you won’t use before the expiration date,
Around 66% of Costa Mesa’s single-family households are already sorting and recycling their food scraps. The recycling program started in June and has been working well. Customers are happy to see their scraps go to a local compost pile for now, and by fall, everything will go to an anaerobic digester in a nearby city. At CR&R Waste and Recycling’s new plant, the organic matter will be converted into biogas.
Several other cities are planning to follow Costa Mesa’s lead and work with CR&R. Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, and Stanton are ready to get started. Additionally, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, La Habra, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, and Tustin are in discussions with CR&R.
Davis is in an excellent position to be in full compliance by January. The city implemented mandatory organic waste collection back in 2016. One measure Davis will be taking is to offer outreach programs to businesses, residential communities, and schools to help them better understand what can and cannot go into green bins for organic waste recycling.
Los Angeles has already started the Curb Your Food Waste pilot program. Currently, around 25 neighborhoods are part of the year-long program. The goals are to shop smart and stop buying too much, cook meals that are just large enough for what’s needed without creating too many leftovers, and recycling the rest into a green bin.
Long Beach officials fear that the city will be in full compliance by the January 1st deadline. But, a pilot program launched and has signed up more than 110 businesses. Instead of tossing out food scraps, restaurants and other companies save food scraps for the city to pick up and bring to the Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility.
Food scraps are processed at this facility to turn them into renewable energy. This is one of a handful of plants in California prepared to receive organic waste, which is one of the issues Californian officials face. More residents and businesses create food and organic waste than there are facilities that can process everything.
Residents, school officials, and business owners in Moreno Valley are responsible for arranging organic waste collection services. CalRecycle is a good source for finding a participating collection service.
All businesses that use a combination recycling/trash service can start recycling their organic waste as of July 1st. Business owners and employees now put all organic materials in their green bins for yard waste, and the company’s hauler picks it up at the curb.
In 1919, the City of San Diego passed the People’s Ordinance requiring the city to provide trash services out of the city’s general fund for all single-home residences. Renters, building owners, and businesses have to pay for the recycling change in their monthly collection fees.
San Diego applied for and received a $3 million grant to comply with the upcoming law change. San Diego officials will use the money to upgrade Miramar Landfill Greenery. All residents will also be given a free kitchen food scrap bin that costs the city an additional $15 million to purchase all of the necessary containers.
San Francisco officials already have a successful recycling program in place. People should place their organic matter into Recology’s green bins for curbside collection. If your employer or landlord doesn’t have a bin in place, you can call San Francisco’s Zero Waste program to have specialists talk to them about complying with the new law.
Items That You’ll Be Able to Recycle in Your Green Bin
Households need to save their food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, bones, fat trimmings, etc. All of this goes into the green bin. Some jurisdictions allow cooking oil in the organic matter bins, but not all areas will allow it. Chula Vista is one area where oils and fats are not being accepted.
If you worry about the odor when it’s hot outside, you can put the food scraps into a compostable paper bag and freeze everything before moving them to your green bin outside.
Food waste is just part of the items Californians will be recycling. Food-stained boxes and papers, such as ice cream containers and pizza boxes, will be recycled. House plants, flowers, unpainted wood, tree and grass trimmings, weeds, and leaves are organic matter. Wine corks, wax paper, and compostable bags are also allowed in the green bin.
If you want to compost your own food scraps and your neighborhood allows at-home composting, a home composting bin is an affordable investment. You need to aerate your composting items regularly, so look for a bin that simplifies this, such as a drum composter with a handle that you turn each day to mix the developing compost.
If you don’t have curbside service yet, you can still do your part. Invest in a five-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid and place your food scraps in that bucket. When you have time, drop off your food waste at a local farm or recycling center that accepts food waste. Recycle Nation can help you find the nearest food scrap and organic matter drop-off point.