SB 1383 for Businesses



California is experiencing the effects of the climate crisis: hotter summers, longer fire seasons, extreme droughts, and rising sea levels. You may not think about food waste when it comes to the climate crisis, but according to CalRecycle, organic waste in landfills emit 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. To respond to the climate crisis, California is implementing a statewide organic waste recycling and surplus food recovery law: SB 1383. Starting January 1st, 2022, all jurisdictions in California will need to provide organic waste collection services to businesses and start collecting organic materials instead of sending them to the landfill. Edible food generators will also need to arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills and maintain records. The new mandates can be confusing, read on to find out how this new law might impact your business. 


Starting January 1, 2022: All businesses in California (including apartment/condo complexes of five units or more) are now required to:

  • Divert organic materials from the landfill by
    • Subscribing to and participating in the organics collection service provided by your waste hauler,
    • OR self-haul organic waste to a specified composting facility, community composting program, or other collection activity or program. Records must be maintained of this service for amount of materials delivered to each facility.
  • Provide collection containers for organic waste and recyclables to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers.
    • Collection service must be arranged so that access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers with correct labels is available.
    • Provide indoor containers for organic waste and recyclables in all areas where disposal containers are provided for customers, except in restrooms (multi-family dwellings are exempt).
  • For all outdoor and indoor containers, the container bodies or lids shall conform to the following color scheme: gray/black for garbage, blue for recycling, and green for organics. In addition, containers shall have labels with graphic images to indicate primary materials accepted and prohibited.
  • Annually provide educational information about the legal requirements to compost and recycle including how to properly sort between the three waste streams. 


Starting on either January 1, 2022 OR January 1, 2024: Edible food waste generators are split into two tiers based on business type and must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills, and maintain records.


Tier 1 Businesses   Tier 2 Businesses
Tier One businesses must comply with edible food recovery requirements by Jan. 1st, 2022.   Tier Two businesses must comply with edible food recovery requirements by Jan. 1st, 2024. 
Supermarkets   Restaurants (with ≥ 250 seats, or ≥ 5,000 sq. ft.)
Grocery stores (with a total facility size ≥ 7,500 sq. ft.)   Hotels (with onsite food facility and ≥200 rooms)
Foodservice distributors   Health facilities (with onsite food facility and ≥100 beds)
Wholesale food markets   State agencies (with a cafeteria with ≥ 250 seats, or ≥ 5,000 sq. ft)
    Local education agencies (with an onsite food facility)
    Large venues
    Large events


Still confused about SB 1383? Checking out CalRecycle’s FAQs. Your local waste hauler should also be providing educational materials on what the rules and regulations are for your specific jurisdiction (and what exactly is accepted as food waste).