Organic Waste

organics food assortment graphic

Senate Bill (SB) 1383, California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction law, established methane reduction targets as part of a statewide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from short-lived climate pollutants such as organic waste. Organic waste significantly contributes to California's methane emissions and makes up much of the waste we send to landfills. SB 1383 requires a 75% reduction in the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 2025. Further, SB 1383 requires 20% of edible food, that would otherwise be disposed of, be recovered for human consumption by 2025.

To meet these goals, SB 1383 requires that organic waste be collected separately from trash for both residential and commercial customers. Residential customers who already have a green container for yard waste will use the same container for all organic waste. Residential and commercial customers who do not have a green container will be provided with a separate organics container in mid-2022.

Commercial businesses that are classified as edible food generators must meet additional requirements related to food recovery, as discussed further below.

What is organic Waste?

In addition to yard trimmings and plants that can already be placed in the green container, the following materials are considered organic waste and should also be placed in the green container:

  • Food scraps and spoiled food including meat, bones, dairy, bread, fruits, vegetables, peels, pits, apple cores, corn cobs, and coffee grounds
  • Soiled paper including paper towels, napkins, paper cups, paper egg cartons, pizza boxes, and coffee filters

Organic waste can be placed directly into the green container and does not need to be bagged. It is acceptable to bag food scraps and soiled paper if you prefer. The organic waste material will be removed and separated from the bags at the processing facility.

green cart with organic wasteAll other materials should continue to be be placed in the trash or recycling containers as appropriate:


  • Glass bottles, jars, and containers
  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Aluminum cans
  • Paper and cardboard (unsoiled)


  • Plastic utensils and straws
  • Styrofoam packaging and food containers
  • Plastic packaging, film, and wrappers
  • Bathroom waste
  • Masks and gloves
  • All other waste that is not organic or recyclable

For Residents

Starting January 1, 2022, all residents are required to separate organic waste from trash and non-organic recyclables by placing it in the green cart traditionally used for yard trimmings.

Residents that do not have green cart will be provided with a separate organics cart in mid-2022.

Residents with common trash bins provided by their HOA will be provided with common organics containers in mid-2022.

For Businesses

triple waste can imageAll businesses must subscribe to organics waste collection service in addition to trash and recycling service. All businesses are required to collect recyclable materials and organic waste in separate containers from other waste in the same manner as residential customers. Separate containers for recyclables and organic waste must be made available to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers.

In addition, businesses that are classified as edible food generators must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills through an agreement with a food recovery organization.

The following "Tier 1" businesses must arrange for edible food recovery starting January 1, 2022:

  • Supermarkets
  • Grocery stores of 10,000+ square feet
  • Food service providers
  • Food distributors
  • Wholesale food vendors

The following "Tier 2" businesses must arrange for edible food recovery starting January 1, 2024:

  • Restaurants of 5,000+ square feet or 250+ seats
  • Hotels with an on-site food facility and 200+ rooms
  • Health facilities with an on-site food facility and 100+ beds
  • Venues and events with 2,000+ people
  • Schools and colleges with an on-site food facility
  • State agency cafeterias of 5,000+ square feet or 250+ seats