What is Senate Bill (SB) 1383
California SB 1383 builds upon the State’s leading commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Starting in 2022, all businesses and residents will divert organic materials from the landfill.
To accomplish this, communities across California are sorting organic material like food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper into their organics bin. These organic materials don’t go to landfills – instead, they are sent to recycling and composting facilities throughout California where they are processed into valuable resources.
What goes in my organics bin?
Organics that belong in your compost bin generally fall within three categories: food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper.
What doesn’t belong in my compost bin?
Commonly misplaced materials
Materials that do not belong in the organics bin are known as contaminants. These materials often cause operational issues at our recycling facilities and leave our compost littered with inorganic material.
In addition, paper and cardboard that are not soiled by food can be placed in your recycling bin.
Make sure to keep these commonly misplaced items out of the organics bin:
No Plastic Bags, Plastic Clamshells, Cardboard, Glass, Aluminum, and Treated Wood in your organics bin
Looking for more educational information? A good place to start is with the actual bin!
Stickers on bins provide helpful information about accepted items.
Recology also offers educational posters, flyers, and customizable signage for residents and businesses. Check out your local Recology site or our What Bin tool to search for specific materials!
Reduce food waste
Although food scraps can be turned into nutrient-rich compost, the best and highest use for food is to be eaten. Reducing food waste is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for our wallets. Here are a few tips for reducing food waste:
Grocery shopping mindfulness
Make a shopping list and stick to it, avoiding impulse buys. Not only will you waste less food, but you’ll also save money!
Become friends with your freezer
If you don’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use the leftovers as an ingredient in another meal.
“Best-by” vs. “Use-by”
Know the difference between “best-by” and “use-by” dates. Sometimes food is safe to eat past the “best-by” date. The “use-by” date tells you when it is no longer safe to eat.
Plan your meals for the week. That way, nothing goes to waste and you can get the most out of your food.
What happens after I place materials at the curb?
Each day, more than 2,000 tons of feedstock arrive at one of five Recology composting facilities in California. This includes collected food scraps and yard trimmings from residential and commercial customers, as well as grocery store spoilage and agricultural surplus wastes.
How Does Recology Recover My Organics?
What happens to organic materials once they're sorted?
In as little as 60 days, the organic material is transformed into nutrient-rich compost and soil amendments that are ready to help “close the loop” and bring food back to your table.
Before the composting process begins, collected material is reduced in size and non-target material is removed. Material is then ground (to increase surface area), and sent through an array of screening systems and air density separators. Then human sorters work to separate the ground material and remove non-compostable items like plastics, glass, metals, and painted wood.
Material is then sent through a trommel screen which rotates to separate material by size. The smaller pieces (Unders) fall through the screen mesh, while the larger pieces (Overs) ride atop the screen and are deposited in a separate pile.
Recology composting facilities utilize the most advanced Aerated Static Pile (ASP) systems available. These systems utilize a dynamic air vacuum system that introduces oxygen to the composting material – thereby maintaining optimal composting conditions.
After 30 days in the ASP system, material is moved to a curing area for 30 more days prior to final screening and sale.
Recovering Organic Waste for a Healthier Planet
When organic materials decompose in landfills, they produce methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with nearly 30 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide.
20% of California’s methane is caused by organic material decomposing in landfills.
Composting is one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of methane released from landfills into our atmosphere. When you place organic materials into your green bin, they are transformed into nutrient-rich compost that fights climate change, conserves water, and improves the state’s natural soil resources.