California Has Been Devastated by the Climate Crisis

California is now experiencing the effects of a climate crisis: hotter summers with world record-breaking temperatures, even more devastating fire seasons, more extreme droughts, and rising sea levels that erode our coastlines.

Scientists tell us that greenhouse gasses released by human activities, like landfilling food and yard waste, cause climate change.

To respond to this climate crisis, California is implementing statewide organic waste recycling and surplus food recovery.

 

Climate Policy Based on Science

Fighting Climate Change by Recycling Organic Waste

In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The targets must:

  • Reduce organic waste disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
  • Rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025.

Landfills Are Third Largest Source of Methane in California

Organic waste in landfills emits:

  • 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Air pollutants like PM 2.5, which contributes to health conditions like asthma.

Organics like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard make up half of what Californians dump in landfills. 

Reducing Short-Lived Climate Super Pollutants like organic waste will have the fastest impact on the climate crisis.

 

Young girl rakes leaves into organics collection container.

Collection and Recycling 

Starting in 2022, all jurisdictions will to need to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses and recycle these organic materials using recycling facilities such as:

  • Anaerobic digestion facilities that create biofuel and electricity. 
  • Composting facilities that make soil amendments

Learn More

Local jurisdictions are planting landscaped areas of their city using compost.

Procurement Requirements: Using Recycled Organics Products

As California collects and recycles organic materials, local governments will be required to use the products made from this recycled organic material, such as renewable energy, compost, and mulch.

 

Learn More

Food bank volunteer carries produce to distribute to Californians in need.

Food Recovery

Starting in 2022, some food service businesses must donate edible food to food recovery organizations with others starting in 2024. This will help feed the almost 1 in 4 Californians without enough to eat.

California has a 2025 goal to redirect to people in need 20% of edible food currently thrown away.

Learn More

Man looking in bin.

 

Enforcement

The enforcement provisions in SB 1383 will assist jurisdictions, non-local entities, local education districts, state, federal facilities, and CalRecycle to achieve the state’s climate goals and the 75 percent organic waste diversion goal by 2025 and into the future.

New web page coming soon!

Aerial view of compost facility.

Capacity Planning

SB 1383 requires counties to take the lead collaborating with the jurisdictions located within the county in planning for the necessary organic waste recycling and food recovery capacity needed to divert organic waste from landfills into recycling activities and food recovery organizations.

California has a 2025 goal to redirect to people in need 20% of edible food currently thrown away.

Learn More

 

Resources for Implementation

Building

Jurisdictions

Requirements for city, county and special districts with solid waste collection.

Learn More

Food Compost

Education and Outreach Resources

CalRecycle offers resources to assist with education and outreach to jurisdictions, residents, and businesses.

Learn More

Smiling man composting.

Food Donors

Californians throw away 5-6 million tons of food waste every year. SB 1383 requires that businesses donate surplus food instead of throwing it out.

Learn More

Feeding San Diego Van.

Food Recovery Organizations

SB 1383 links food service businesses with food recovery organizations to get donated food to Californians in need.


Learn More

Man near a compost truck.

Waste Haulers

SB 1383 regulations provide collection options, including:

  • Mixed-waste collection
  • Multiple container collection

New web page coming soon!

Transfer and Processing Facilities and Landfills.

Transfer and Processing Facilities and Landfills

SB 1383 makes changes to Titles 14 and 27, adding requirements for transfer/processing facilities, operations for landfills and solid waste facility permitting.

Learn More

Compost Coverings

Organics Recycling Facilities

SB 1383 requires organic waste facilities and operations to measure and report organic waste material activity, including composting and anaerobic digestion.

Learn More

Workers at recycle place

Local Enforcement Agencies

Local enforcement agencies (EAs) have the primary responsibility to enforce State solid waste facility regulations designed to protect public health and safety and the environment.

Learn More

Local Education Agencies

Local Education Agencies

SB 1383 regulations direct entities not subject to oversight by a jurisdiction to implement new organics recycling infrastructure, including, school districts, chapters, and county office of education.

New web page coming soon!

University of California

Non-Local Entities

SB 1383 regulations direct entities not subject to oversight by a jurisdiction to implement new organics recycling infrastructure, including, state agencies, county fairgrounds, public universities including community colleges, facilities operated by state parks system, prisons, federal facilities, and special districts.

New web page coming soon!

 

Related Resources

Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in California

The California Air Resources Board provides information on short-lived climate pollutants and the Proposed Revised Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy.  

General Plan Guidelines Update, Completed August 2, 2017

The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) completed the first comprehensive update to the General Plan Guidelines (GPG) since 2003. One of the major changes includes an expanded section addressing the need for additional recycling, anaerobic digestion, composting, and remanufacturing facilities in the land use element.