Mandatory Organic Waste Reduction
In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The targets must:
- Reduce organic waste disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
- Rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025.
Methane emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to global climate change. Organic materials--including waste that can be readily prevented, recycled, or composted--account for a significant portion of California's overall waste stream. Food waste alone accounts for approximately 17-18 percent of total landfill disposal. Increasing food waste prevention, encouraging edible food rescue, and expanding the composting and in-vessel digestion of organic waste throughout the state will help reduce methane emissions from organic waste disposed of in California's landfills.
This law expands upon the goals of AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling and AB 1826: Mandatory Organics Recycling. However, SB 1383 is unique in that it impacts residents in addition to businesses, and it requires some businesses to donate excess edible food to feed people in addition to composting organic materials. Unlike previous laws, there are significant penalties for non-compliance.
On October 5, 2021, the City of La Palma adopted an Ordinance amending Chapter 18 of the La Palma Municipal Code pertaining to garbage and refuse code to incorporate the State’s Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions Mandate (Senate Bill 1383). The Ordinance became effective on November 4, 2021.