In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383, establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of California's economy. SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 75% reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste by 2025.
Methane emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to global climate change. Organic materials including waste that can be readily prevented, recycled, or composted account for a significant portion of California's overall waste stream. Food waste alone accounts for approximately 17 -18% of total landfill disposal. Increasing food waste prevention, encouraging edible food rescue, and expanding the composting and in-vessel digestion of organic waste throughout the state will help reduce methane emissions from organic waste disposed in California's landfills.
Cities must establish organics recycling programs to all properties, including single family residential properties, multi-family residences, and businesses. Organic waste includes both food waste and other green waste, such as yard trimmings. In addition, cities must facilitate a food rescue program that creates a 20% increase in the recovery of currently disposed edible food from large food generators. The recovered food will then be routed to those who are experiencing food insecurity. Under SB 1383, the food recovery target must be met by January 1, 2025.
Food Recovery Requirements
There are two groups of large edible food generators that are defined in SB 1383 that must have a written food recovery agreement with a food recovery organization. Firstly, there are Tier 1 Commercial Edible Food Generators. This includes the following:
- Grocery stores larger than 10,000+ square feet
- Food service providers
- Food distributors
- Wholesale food vendors
The second group of establishments that are required to have a food recovery agreement are called Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators. Tier 2 generators include:
- Restaurants with facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
- Hotels with an on-site food facility with 200+ rooms or a restaurant with 250+ seats
- Health facilities with an on-site food facility and 100+ beds
- Venues that seat 2,000+ people
- Events that serve an average of 2,000 visitors per day
- State agency cafeterias with facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
- Local education agencies with an on-site food facility
- Non-local entities, such as public universities and community colleges
Organic Waste Collection Services
Effective January 1, 2022, all California residences and businesses will be required to separate organic waste from other trash and non-organic recyclables and participate in an organics collection program. The City of Irvine is working with its waste haulers to provide programs for residents and businesses to comply with the requirements of this legislation in 2022. These programs will include new solid waste service to collect organic materials, including food waste, from residential properties. The City will also continue its efforts to assist local businesses in complying with this legislation, as well as continuing efforts to support business compliance with other state recycling legislation including:
AB-341 and AB-1826 and AB 827
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