Organic Waste Reduction (SB 1383)

A New Focus on Organic Waste Reduction 

A shift in California’s approach to organic waste management is taking place with a significant reduction in current levels of organic disposal. Organic waste is the largest material type that is landfilled in California each year. With that in mind, in 2016, then Governor Brown signed legislation (Senate Bill 1383) that targets reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane. The law directs the state’s Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery (CalRecycle) to adopt regulations and requirements to achieve a 50 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.  

The SB 1383 regulations went into effect January 1, 2022. Following are the implementation dates and thresholds for the legislation:

  • January 1, 2020: No later than this date, the state must achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level.
  • July 1, 2020: By this date, CalRecycle, in consultation with the Air Resources Board, must analyze the progress that the waste sector, state government, and local governments have made in meeting the organic waste reduction targets for 2020 and 2025. If the Department determines that significant progress has not been made in meeting the targets, CalRecycle may include incentives or additional requirements in the regulations to facilitate progress toward achieving the organic disposal reduction targets. The Department may also recommend to the Legislature revisions to the targets
  • January 1, 2022: CalRecycle’s regulations to meet the organic waste reduction targets for 2020 and 2025 take effect and are enforceable on this date.
  • January 1, 2024: Effective on this date, the regulations may require local jurisdictions to impose penalties for noncompliance on generators within their jurisdiction.
  • January 1, 2025: By this date, the state must achieve a 75 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level. In addition, not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food must be recovered for human consumption.

What is Organic Waste?

Organic waste in municipal solid waste generally includes the following. 

  • Food scraps including all solid, semi-solid and liquid food such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, pasta, tea bags, coffee filters, and oils.
  • Food-soiled paper is the uncoated paper that is soiled by food waste such as napkins, paper towels, tea bags, paper plates, coffee filters and other paper and compostable food packaging.
  • Yard trimmings include grass clippings, leaves, flowers, hedge clippings, and weeds.  Non-hazardous wood waste includes tree branches, tree trunks, and untreated lumber.

Who Must Comply?

  • Residents
  • Commercial businesses
  • Commercial food generators
  • Schools
  • Government entities

How to Comply?

SB 1383 requires that each resident and business, must subscribe to an organic waste collection service that either “source-separates” the waste (e.g. separate bins), or transports all unsegregated waste to a facility that recovers 75 percent of the organic content collected from the system. 

Residential Organic Waste Program

The City together with EDCO Waste & Recycling Services launched the new Organics Recycling Program on January 1, 2021. Poway residents are provided with up to three commingled green carts that will co-collect food scraps and yard waste. The organic material collected will be taken to EDCO’s Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Escondido, CA to be converted into renewable natural gas and anaerobic compost. For information on proposed rates related to these service changes, click here.

EDCO’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Facility 

EDCO has had a long-standing commitment to reducing impacts on the environment through innovation. EDCO’s state-of-the-art AD Facility began serving customers in early 2021, assisting customers to be in full compliance with state mandates.  AD is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials such as food waste, green waste, fats, oils and greases. AD happens in closed spaces where there is no oxygen. Recycling organics will be easy and convenient with EDCO’s commingled organics recycling program. Once EDCO’s AD Facility is complete, EDCO will expand source-separated green waste collection to include the recycling of food waste.  Click the link below to learn more about EDCO’s new AD Facility and how it will significantly impact the future of organic waste.

Watch a video explaining EDCO’s AD

Community Workshop: 

The City held a community workshop focused on residential service on February 11, 2020, to discuss key solid waste legislation and an overview of steps to be taken to implement an organics recycling program. If you were unable to attend the SB 1383 workshop, you can click on the links below and listen to representatives from CalRecycle, EDCO, and the San Diego Food System Alliance explain how SB 1383 will change the way we manage our organic waste.

CalRecycle PowerPoint Presentation

Cal Recycle Audio Presentation

EDCO PowerPoint Presentation

EDCO Audio Presentation 

San Diego Food System Alliance PowerPoint Presentation

San Diego Food System Alliance Audio Presentation


Watch a video explaining SB 1383

SB 1383 FAQ