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How the New Organics & Recycling Law Affects Alameda – SB 1383

A new California State law, SB 1383, aims to keep food and other compostable materials (“organics”) out of landfills to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. Under the law:

  • Edible food currently thrown away must be recovered and donated for people to eat,
  • The remaining organics must be collected for composting,
  • Recyclables must also be kept out of landfills.

Starting January 2022, SB 1383 regulations will be implemented in Alameda County under the Organics Reduction & Recycling Ordinance through a partnership among Alameda County jurisdictions, garbage service providers, StopWaste, and the Alameda County Environmental Health Departments. Read the full text of the Ordinance.

Alameda Post - Hands holding fresh compost with organic material in background
SB 1383, aims to keep food and other compostable materials out of landfills to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. Photo Pixabay.com

The new law affects all generators of organic waste, including:

  • Businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations
  • Multifamily property owners or managers of buildings with 5 or more units
  • Residents in single-family homes, apartments, and condos
  • Schools (public and private)
  • Government agencies, such as state agencies and park districts

What does this mean for my business, institution, or multifamily property?

Your site must: 

  • Subscribe to curbside compost and recycling collection service in addition to garbage*
  • Place color-coded and labeled compost and recycling containers next to all indoor garbage containers (excluding restrooms)
  • Sort materials into the proper bins.
    • Compost: Food scraps, compostable paper, and plant waste
    • Recycling: Cardboard, paper, bottles, and cans
    • Do not place garbage into the compost or recycling bins
  • Educate employees, contractors, tenants, and students about the law at least annually
  • Commercial properties: Periodically inspect bins and provide feedback to employees and contractors about incorrectly placed items
  • Residential & commercial property managers: Inform tenants no later than 14 days after move-in and at least 14 days prior to move-out about the rules
  • Some businesses that generate surplus edible food—such as grocery stores, food distributors, and large restaurants—must have a written agreement with a food recovery organization or service to donate edible surplus food to feed people. See “Food recovery & donation information” below.
*Don’t have compost or recycling collection service?

You must either:

  • Order service from your collection service provider
  • Upload documentation of shared service, back-hauling, or self-hauling of materials
  • Apply for a waiver for organics collection

For more information about these new rules and to take action, visit StopWaste.org, who is the source of the information in this article.

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