Capacity Planning

Tractor pouring compost into covered aerated static compost row.

To achieve the goals of SB 1383, CalRecycle estimates that California needs approximately 50-100 new or expanded organic waste recycling facilities to annually recycle an additional 20-25 million tons of organic waste. Edible food recovery infrastructure expansion is also needed.

Capacity planning is vital to help jurisdictions meet this mandate. Although counties have until August 1, 2024 to report on capacity planning for the period covering January 1, 2025 to December 31, 2034, infrastructure takes time to develop and jurisdictions should start evaluating their capacity for managing organics, including edible food recovery and organic waste recycling.

The regulatory requirements for edible food recovery and organic waste recycling capacity planning share similarities.

Capacity Planning Requirements

For both capacity planning efforts, counties are responsible for:

  • Collecting capacity planning information from each jurisdiction within the county
  • Submitting the capacity planning report to CalRecycle
  • Identifying any jurisdiction, including itself, that does not have enough verified existing, planned, or new capacity
  • Informing jurisdictions that lack capacity about the timeline for submitting the implementation schedule to CalRecycle

Jurisdictions, including counties, are responsible for:

  • Estimating organic waste disposal within the jurisdiction
  • Identifying the amount of existing capacity, located both in the county and outside of the county, that is verifiably available
  • Estimating the amount of new or expanded capacity that will be needed
  • Consulting with various entities throughout the planning process, such as the local Environmental Health Department, food recovery organizations, food recovery services, etc.
  • Submitting an implementation schedule to CalRecycle if they lack capacity

Note: Jurisdictions exempt from organic waste collection requirements are not required to include capacity plans (see Section 18992.3). For more details, please see Exemptions for Jurisdictions with Department-Issued Waivers

Anaerobic digestion facility construction site

Capacity Planning for Organic Waste Recycling

Jurisdictions are required to assess:

  • The amount of organic waste recycling capacity they currently have
  • The necessary capacity to recycle the amount of organic waste estimated to be disposed by organic waste generators within the jurisdiction

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Food recovery organization volunteers stand hugging behind a cart of fresh food

Capacity Planning for Food Recovery

Jurisdictions are required to assess:

  • The number of mandated food donors and food recovery organizations operating within their community
  • The amount of edible food disposed by these mandated food donors
  • The existing, new, or expanded capacity needed to recover this food for people to eat

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For more information contact: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions,