Mandatory Organic Waste Reduction

SB 1383

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.

What can you do to meet SB 1383 mandatory requirements?

You can put both food scraps and yard trimmings in your GREEN organics cart. If it was once alive, it can go in the cart. That includes food-soiled paper (paper was once a tree, and the food will contaminate paper recycling if you put it in the blue cart). If you choose to use a bag, it must be paper and compostable, not plastic or biodegradable. 

What Belongs in the Organics Cart (Green Cart)?


Items that can be placed in the Organics cart

  • Fruits & vegetables (including peels, pits & rinds)
  • Bread, pasta & other grains
  • Dairy products
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds & tea leaves
  • Meat & bones (raw or cooked)

(above can be placed directly into Organic Cart or in compostable paper bags only)


  • Plates & cups
  • Napkins & towels
  • Coffee filters & tea bags
  • Bags - paper only (used to contain/wrap food scraps)
  • Takeout containers
  • Newspaper (can be used to wrap food scraps or line cart)
  • Pizza boxes, donut boxes
  • Waxed paper & wax-coated boxes
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Compostable fiber-based products (not plastic-lined)


  • Flowers
  • Garden trimmings
  • Grass clippings
  • Hay
  • House plants
  • Lawn clippings 
  • Leaves
  • Pruning
  • Shrubbery
  • Small branches less than 6” in diameter
  • Weeds


Items that can not go in the Organics cart

  • Glass, Metal, Styrofoam or Plastic
  • Aseptic Boxes (Juice, Soup & Soy Milk)
  • Dirt, Rock, Concrete, Brick or Treated Wood
  • Liquid Fat, Oil or Grease
  • Pet Litter or Feces
  • Palm Fronds
  • Large Tree Trunks and Stumps
  • Ashes
  • Poison Oak, Poison Ivy
  • Rocks, Concrete, Sod or Dirt
  • Treated or Painted Wood

Home Composting

Home composting is an effective and efficient way to dramatically reduce your waste stream at home, while doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Organic material sent to landfill creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to the negative impacts of our changing climate. By making compost, you are creating a valuable soil amendment that you can use to benefit your landscape, boost plant growth and sequester carbon.

Many types of food waste and yard waste can be composted at home, including grass clippings, tree and shrub trimmings, vegetable garden and fruit tree waste, lawn clippings, leaves, coffee grounds, and fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen. Home composters should not attempt to compost meat, bones, dairy or large amounts of baked goods.

For more information on how to start / build your own compost visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/homecompost.

Commercial Edible Food Donations

A new state law, California Senate Bill 1383, has established mandates to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills. In addition to implementing food scrap recycling, SB 1383 requires select businesses - Tier 1 and Tier 2 generators - to start food recovery programs. The City of Santee has provided a list of organizations that accept food donations in Santee.

Learn more




Name: Heather Heckman
Phone: 619-258-4100 ext.127
Hours: M–Th 8:00am–5:00pm, F 8:00am-1:00pm

Santee City Hall, Community Services Department
10601 Magnolia Avenue, Building 6
Santee, CA 92071

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City of Santee
10601 Magnolia Ave.
Santee, CA 92071

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M-Th 8:00am – 5:00pm, F 8:00am – 1:00pm

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