Capacity Planning for Organic Waste Recycling

Anaerobic Digestion FacilitySB 1383 requires jurisdictions to implement mandatory organic waste collection and recycling in a statewide effort to divert organic waste from landfills. California has dozens of compost, mulch, and anaerobic digestion facilities located throughout the state that can recycle yard and food waste into new products.

However, the state needs approximately 50-100 new or expanded facilities to annually recycle the additional 20-25 million tons of organic waste that will be collected from residents and commercial businesses with the successful implementation of SB 1383. To help achieve this goal, the regulations require jurisdictions to assess their current organics recycling capacity and plan to expand it if needed.

These new and expanded facilities are a vital part of California’s recycling infrastructure and will benefit communities by offering new green collar jobs, reducing greenhouse gases, and improving public health and the environment.

Aerial view of compost facility

Capacity Planning Requirements

California counties and each city, regional agency, and special district that provides solid waste collection services within each county must plan for adequate capacity for recycling organic waste. Each county is responsible for leading this collaborative effort among all cities, regional agencies, and special districts that provide solid waste collection services within the county. It is important to note that in the context of capacity planning, the term jurisdiction collectively refers to counties, cities, regional agencies, and special districts that provide solid waste collection services.

Each county is responsible for:

  • Collecting organic waste recycling capacity information from jurisdictions.
  • Identifying any jurisdiction, including itself, that does not have enough organic waste recycling capacity
  • Submitting an organic waste recycling capacity report to CalRecycle on the following schedule: (see below regarding rural exemption or low population waiver):
    • By August 1, 2024, counties shall report to the Department on the period covering January 1, 2025, through December 31, 2034. (10-year period)
    • By August 1, 2029, counties shall report to the Department on the period covering January 1, 2030, through December 31, 2039. (10-year period)
    • By August 1, 2034, counties shall report to the Department on the period covering January 1, 2035, through December 31, 2044. (10-year period
    • Every five years starting in 2029
  • Informing jurisdictions that have insufficient capacity that they must submit an implementation schedule to CalRecycle

Each jurisdiction is responsible for:

  • Estimating the amount of organic waste in tons that will be disposed by organic waste generators
    • Organic waste must include food scraps, landscape and pruning waste, wood, paper products, digestate, and biosolids
  • Identifying the amount in tons of existing organic waste recycling infrastructure capacity, located both in the county and outside of the county, that is verifiably available to the jurisdiction.
    • Verifiably available means that each jurisdiction can demonstrate the available capacity through a contract, franchise agreement, or other documentation of existing, new, or expanded capacity at a facility, activity, operation, or property that recovers organic waste. A facility permit is not an indication of capacity available to a jurisdiction.
  • Estimating the amount of new or expanded organic waste recycling facility capacity that is needed to process the organic waste estimated to be disposed by organic waste generators
  • Responding to the county’s request for necessary capacity planning information within 120 days.

Implementation Schedule – Provide Timelines for Plan

Jurisdictions that have not identified enough existing or new organic waste recycling capacity must submit an implementation schedule to CalRecycle. The implementation schedule must include timelines and milestones for planning new or expanded capacity:

  1. Getting funding for organic waste recycling infrastructure, such as through modifying franchise agreements or other means of financially supporting the expansion of organic waste recycling.
  2. Identifying facilities, operations, and activities that could be expanded to recycle additional organic waste.

Exemptions for Jurisdictions with Department-Issued Waivers

Jurisdictions exempt from organic waste collection requirements are not required to include capacity plans (see Section 18992.3). Jurisdictions that are exempt from the organic waste collection requirements due to a waiver (pursuant to 14 CCR Section 18984.12) are not required to conduct the capacity planning required in 14 CCR Article 11, Section 18992.1 (organic waste) and are not required to include capacity planning data in the report submitted by the County required by 14 CCR Section 18992.1 in the first reporting period and subsequent reporting periods if they continue to have a waiver.  In addition, a county is not required to obtain information from a jurisdiction that is waived from all of the organic waste collection requirements and may subtract the waste generated in an area subject to a waiver for capacity planning purposes. If a jurisdiction has a rural exemption or low population waiver, then they will not be required to conduct the capacity planning for organic waste recycling that is due August 2024. The local assistance staff will be contacting jurisdictions that have a rural exemption or low population waiver in early 2026 to remind them that the waiver ends and to be assessing if they will be eligible for the low population waiver.

  • If they are eligible for the low population waiver, then they will want to apply for that in late 2026 so that is in place by Jan. 1, 2027.
  • If they will not meet the low population threshold, then the local assistance staff will discuss their plans for implementing the requirements related to organic waste collection that need to start Jan. 1, 2027.
  • For jurisdictions that do not have a low population waiver starting in 2027 they will be required to complete capacity planning on the scheduled timeline for the next 2029 capacity planning report.

Regarding subsequent reporting periods, this is clarified in the Final Statement of Reasons. The regulations state that jurisdictions that are exempt do not have to do capacity planning. It is implicit that they would not report in any reporting period that they have a waiver because there is nothing to report.

Capacity Planning is a Collaborative Effort

During the capacity planning process, the county in coordination with jurisdictions and regional agencies must work together to consult with the following entities:

The Enforcement Agency and Local Task Force

This consultation provides the status and locations for new and expanding solid waste facilities, including potential capacity increases, and the planned closure of solid waste facilities.

Haulers and Owners of Facilities, Operations, and Activities that Recover Organic Waste

This consultation will help facilitate conversations between jurisdictions, haulers, and facilities to identify opportunities for securing feedstock agreements.

This will also help ensure that jurisdictions are receiving information from businesses and other local entities that may control the operational infrastructure needed to recycle organic waste and sufficiently plan for additional infrastructure.

These entities must respond to the jurisdiction within 60 days.

Community Composting Operations

This consultation will help determine whether small-scale community composting operators may be able to recycle additional organic waste outside of conventional organic waste processing infrastructure.

In addition, this will help ensure that jurisdictions are involving local communities in their organic waste recycling capacity planning efforts.

Entities that are contacted by the county, city, regional agency, or special district that provide solid waste collection services must respond within 60 days. This will support counties and jurisdictions in meeting their capacity planning requirements within the regulatory timeframes.

Backhoe putting compost into bay
Aerated covered compost bay

Consulting with Communities

When considering the siting of new or expanded organics processing facilities, jurisdictions must conduct outreach to seek feedback on the possible benefits and impacts of the facilities on the surrounding communities. This includes ensuring that any affected disadvantaged communities are included in the community outreach. For more information about identifying disadvantaged communities, please see CalRecycle’s Environmental Justice.

This will help facilitate feedback from the community during local planning process and help ensure that local communities are being consulted during capacity planning efforts.

Outreach requirements include:

  • Reaching out to community members through public workshops or meetings, fliers, newspaper articles, email notices, and social media postings.
  • Conducting outreach (when applicable) in coordination with potential solid waste facility operators that may use the site for organic waste recovery.
  • Communicating in non-English languages spoken by a substantial number of the public.


  • Organic Waste Recycling Capacity Planning Calculator
    This web-based tool is intended to assist jurisdictions (including cities, unincorporated counties, regional agencies, and special districts) to plan for capacity needed to recycle organics materials as defined in the SB 1383 regulations. (See Section 18992.1(f)).
  • Capacity Planning for Organic Waste Recycling Tools Webinar
    CalRecycle hosted a webinar to cover the capacity planning tools designed to help jurisdictions comply with the capacity planning requirements. Use of the tools developed by the department is optional.
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • These guidance tools were developed by CalRecycle as a courtesy for informational and example purposes only. Use of these tools is optional and is not a regulatory requirement. In the event of any conflict with these guidance tools or information herein, applicable statutory and regulatory provisions shall control. These tools and information herein are based on known facts and legal authority as understood by CalRecycle at the time of release. Any analysis, guidance, or other information herein may be subject to change based on changed facts or legal authority, actual or understood, subsequent to the publishing of these tools. The provision of these guidance tools and any analysis, guidance, or other information herein shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights or remedies available to CalRecycle. Users are encouraged to seek the assistance of legal counsel to comply with applicable state law based on their pertinent facts and circumstances. CalRecycle makes no representation that use of these tools will ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. The user assumes all risk and CalRecycle accepts no responsibility or liability to any person because of the use of, or reliance upon, these tools or the information herein.
  • San Diego County Capacity Planning
  • SB 1383 Infrastructure and Market Analysis Report
  • Collection FAQ
  • Recycle Organics

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