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Mandatory Recycling Requirements

What is SB 1383?

In September 2016, the State set methane emission reduction targets for California in Senate Bill 1383, intended as a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (like organic waste) in various sectors of California’s economy. This law expands upon the goals of AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling and AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling. However, SB 1383 is unique in that it impacts residents in addition to businesses.

SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to reduce the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills (50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025). It also sets a goal to rescue at least 20% of currently disposed edible food by 2025 and redirect that food to people in need.

Why is SB 1383 Important?

The State has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve human health, and create clean jobs that support resilient local economies. Implementing the statewide plan under SB 1383 will reduce short-lived, harmful, super pollutants with significant warming impacts and is essential to achieving California’s climate goals.

Organic waste in landfills emit 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper make up half of what Californians send to landfills.

The 6 Main Elements of SB 1383

chart of 6 main elements of the SB 1383 regulations The chart to the right shows the six main elements of the SB 1383 regulations that apply to jurisdictions in the State of California. Some aspects of these elements are explained briefly below. For detailed information visit CalRecycle’s website at

Organics and Recycling Collection

One of the main requirements is ensuring that all residents and businesses have access to recycling and organics collection. SB 1383 requires specific colors for waste collection containers: trash containers must be grey or black, organics containers must be green, and recycling containers must be blue. All new containers must be clearly labeled with what does and does not go into them.

Contamination Monitoring

The regulations require jurisdictions to conduct annual route reviews or bi-annual waste evaluations on each residential, commercial, and multi-family trash, recycling, and organics route to check containers for contamination (recycling and organics not being sorted correctly). To fulfill these requirements, EDI invests in dedicated route review collection vehicles that utilize on-board cameras with GPS and optic technology to record the containers serviced. GPS technology links the route review collection vehicles to the randomly selected generators address. Mounted cameras record the containers being serviced. If container contaminates are observed in the container, EDI notifies the generator of the contaminants and informs them about how to properly separate materials.

Education and Outreach

SB 1383 regulations require jurisdictions to conduct specific outreach to residents, schools, businesses, and edible food generators, on an annual basis. The outreach must be translated into multiple languages, based on the most recent census results.

Capacity Planning

Jurisdictions must collaborate with the County and the other jurisdictions located within the county to determine the necessary organic waste recycling and edible food recovery capacity needed to divert organic waste and edible food from the landfill as required under the regulations.

Procurement Requirements

Jurisdictions must annually procure a certain quantity of recovered organic waste products. Jurisdictions can fulfill their target by procuring any combination of eligible products such as compost, mulch, and renewable natural gas. The subsequent passage of AB 1985 gives jurisdictions an additional two years to comply with the organic waste product procurement requirements of SB 1383. Jurisdictions are also required to purchase recycled-content paper.

Edible Food Recovery

Jurisdictions must identify the edible food recovery generators that are required to implement edible food recovery programs, connect them with local food recovery organizations, provide annual outreach to the edible food generators about their requirements under SB 1383 and perform annual inspections to ensure they have contracts in place with edible food recovery organizations, and are keeping records of all recovered edible food. The law phases food donors into two tiers. The first tier is required to donate starting in 2022 and the second tier is required to donate starting in 2024.

How Does SB 1383 Affect You?

Per SB 1383, starting January 1, 2022, all single-family residential dwellings (less than five units), commercial businesses, and multi-family residential dwellings (five or more units) are required to subscribe and participate in recycling and organics collection services. Per State law, jurisdictions are required to issue a Notice of Violation for non-compliance with the SB 1383 regulations after January 1, 2024, and must assess fines if the violations are not cleared within 60 days.

Collection Requirements

Single-Family Home Residents and Multifamily Complexes of Less than Five Units

  • Residents are required to subscribe to and participate in their jurisdiction’s recycling and organics curbside collection service.
  • Residents are required to properly sort their recycling and organic waste into the correct containers.
  • Some jurisdictions will allow residents to self-haul their recycling and organic waste. If this is the case, the jurisdiction will provide information about the requirements for self-hauling.

Business and Multi-Family Complexes with Five units or more

  • Subscribe to a collection service adequate in size and frequency for ALL recycling and organics waste OR, if permitted by the jurisdiction, self-haul recyclables and organic waste to a recycling or composting facility.
  • Provide easily accessible recycling and organic waste containers for employees, tenants, and customers.
  • Recycling, organics, and trash containers must include correct labels and signage and conform to the proper color requirements.
  • Annually educate employees, contractors, customers, and tenants on properly sorting waste into the correct containers.
  • Provide information to new tenants before or within 14 days of the occupation of the premises.

Additional Business Requirements (not applicable to multi-family)

  • Provide containers for the collection of recycling and organics waste in all areas where disposal containers are provided for customers, except for restrooms.
  • Internal containers must conform to the proper color requirements and labeling requirements. If a business chooses to use containers that are the correct color, internal containers do not need to be replaced until they are no longer functional or until January 1, 2036, whichever comes first.
  • Periodically inspect recycling and organics containers for contamination and inform employees if containers are contaminated.

Waivers from Collection Requirements

SB 1383 gives jurisdictions the option to offer waivers to generators of organic waste. A jurisdiction may offer waivers to commercial properties when de minimis generation occurs or if there are space constraints. If a jurisdiction allows these options, they are required to adopt an ordinance or similar enforceable mechanism that requires compliance with SB 1383.


EDI can conduct free on-site visits to help businesses and multi-family properties comply with the state’s new mandatory recycling requirements. Contact our Customer Service office by phone or submit a fast and easy online request to arrange for organic waste recycling services. For more information on SB 1383, visit


Trash, Recycling, and Organics Posters

Commercial & Multi-Family Service Guide

Organics Restaurant Guide

Residential Service Guide


Multi-Family Move-in Kits

Food Service Ware Options