Organic Waste Disposal (SB 1383)

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants in various sectors of California's economy. SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 75 percent reduction in the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2025. The law grants CalRecycle the regulatory authority required to achieve the organic waste disposal reduction targets and establishes an additional target that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed of edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025. SB 1383 went into effect on January 1, 2022. 

Senate Bill 1383 Impact 


In July of 2019, the City's waste hauler implemented an organic waste program. Of the more than 19,000 households in Laguna Niguel, 95% of households participate in the program. Therefore, residents who have a green waste bin will see no changes as a result of Senate Bill 1383. If you're one of the 5% of households that does not recycle its organic waste, a representative from CR&R will assist you in becoming compliant.

Business and Commercial Properties

Most Laguna Niguel businesses (78%) are already SB 1383 compliant and need to keep up their great work. For businesses that are not yet compliant, they will need to implement a green waste program with the assistance of our franchise waste hauler CR&R.

Multi-Family Properties

CR&R is beginning to implement an organics waste program for multi-family properties. When a program is implemented, CR&R will provide residents of these properties with a small kitchen pail for food scraps and additional information about the program.

Edible Food Recovery Resources

To reduce unnecessary food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025, the state of California will recover and redistribute 20 percent of edible food that would have otherwise be sent to landfills. The law directs the following:

  • Jurisdictions must establish edible food recovery outreach and inspection programs, help connect mandated edible food generators with food recovery organizations/services, and ensure there is sufficient county-wide capacity for all the recovered edible food.
  • Mandated edible food generators must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills. They must establish contracts with food recovery organizations/services that will accept their edible food and keep records of all edible food recovery.
  • Food recovery organizations and services that work with mandated edible food generators must maintain and submit records of edible food recovery.

What is edible food? Edible food is food intended for people to eat, including food not sold because of appearance, age, freshness, grade, surplus, etc. Edible food includes, but is not limited to, prepared foods, packaged foods and produce. All edible food must meet the food safety requirements of the California Retail Food Code.

The City will post and maintain a list of edible food recovery organizations and services in Orange County. Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators will be able to use this list to find a good match for their edible food. 

Edible food recovery organizations and services in Orange County

Senate Bill 1383 Frequently Asked Questions 

What is organic waste?

Organic waste includes food waste, landscape timings (leaves, grass, trimmings, branches, stumps), non-hazardous wood waste, and compostable paper (compostable paper includes food-soiled paper that is mixed in with food waste and other compostable paper) are all considered organic material.

Why do we need to recycle organic waste?

Organic waste accounts for over 60% of the material in California's waste stream. Organic material cannot break down when buried in a landfill, as it would in nature or in a compost pile. Instead, it decomposes without oxygen, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere.

What is considered edible food waste?

Edible food waste is food that would otherwise go to waste from places such as restaurants, grocery stores, produce markets, or dining facilities. The food is edible but often not sellable. Products that are at or past their "sell-by" dates or are imperfect in any way, such as a bruised apple or day-old bread, are donated by grocery stores, food vendors, restaurants, and farmers' markets. Other times, the food is unblemished, but restaurants may have made or ordered too much or may have good pieces of food (such as scraps of fish or meat) that are byproducts of the process of preparing foods to cook and serve. Also, food manufacturers may donate products that marginally fail quality control or that have become short-dated.

What will go in the green container?  

Food Scraps: Cooked or raw meat, poultry and seafood (including bones), cheese, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, eggshells, bread, coffee grounds, tea bags, tea leaves, baked goods, nuts, jelly, candy, snack foods, leftovers, spoiled food.

Food-Soiled Paper: Paper bags, paper napkins, paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, paper take-out containers and take-out boxes (with no plastic or wax coating, and with metal removed), coffee filters, tissues.

Natural Fibers: Popsicle sticks, sawdust, toothpicks, wooden chopsticks, untreated wood.

Will my rates go up?

No. When the City renegotiated its agreement in 2018, the programmatic requirements of SB 1383 were integrated into the franchise agreement. Therefore, the City's residents and businesses' rate adjustment in 2019 with the new franchise agreement's implementation was sufficient to cover the cost of providing these state-mandated programs.

Where does the collected organic waste go?

The collected organic waste is taken to CR&R's Regional Organics Anaerobic Recovery facility (ROAR) in Perris, California, where the organic waste is converted into renewable natural gas and used to fuel CR&R's collection fleet.  

Organics Recycling Update

On February 2, 2023, the City hosted an Organics Recycling Update hosted in partnership with CR&R Environmental Services.  A recording of the webinar can be found here. A list of frequently asked questions from the webinar can be found here