Organic Waste Recycling SB 1383

The SB 1383 regulations require that jurisdictions conduct education and outreach on organics recycling to all residents, businesses (including those that generate edible food that can be donated) haulers, solid waste facilities, and local food banks and other food recovery organizations.

In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of short-lived climate pollutants including methane from organic waste disposed in landfills. When organic waste such as food, yard trimmings, and paper products break down in a landfill they release methane - a potent greenhouse gas. Reducing methane is the fastest way to slow global warming. Landfills are the third largest producers of methane in California, responsible for 20% of the state’s methane emissions.


Dirty paper

  • Greasy pizza boxes and paper bags

  • Paper coffee filters

  • Paper cups and plates

  • Paper ice cream containers (metal rim is OK)

  • Paper napkins, tissues, and paper towels

  • Paper take-out boxes and containers

  • Paper milk and juice cartons (no foil liner)

Food scraps

  • All fruits and vegetables (pits and shells too)

  • Coffee grounds

  • Dairy products (no liquids)

  • Eggshells and eggs

  • Leftovers and spoiled food

  • Meat (including bones)

  • Seafood (including shellfish)


  • House plants

  • All plant debris including flowers, leaves, weeds, and branches

  • Tree trimmings (less than 6” in diameter and 4’ long)


  • Bags labeled “Compostable” only

  • Cooking grease: Small amounts can be soaked up with a paper towel and composted.

  • Corks (no plastic)

  • Cotton balls/cotton swabs with paper stems

  • Hair, fur, and feathers (non-synthetic/colored)

  • Plastic clearly labeled “Compostable”

  • Vegetable wood crates (metal wire OK)

  • Waxed cardboard and paper

  • Wood: small pieces of clean wood/sawdust (no plywood/ pressboard/painted/stained/treated)

  • Wooden chopsticks, coffee stirrers, toothpicks

SB 1383 is the largest and most prescriptive waste management legislation in California since the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939).

SB 1383 sets several statewide goals, including:

Reduce statewide disposal of organic waste by 50% by January 1, 2020 and 75% by 2025.

Recover at least 20% of the currently disposed edible food for human consumption by 2025.

By diverting organic waste away from landfills to anaerobic digesters or composting operations and recovering edible food for human consumption, California can make significant strides toward fighting climate change and improving public health and the environment.