SB 1383 Organics Requirements


California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy: Fighting Climate Change by Recycling Organic Waste

California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) requires all residents and businesses to reduce organic waste (all food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings) sent to the landfill. Landfilling organic waste has significant impacts on public health and the environment. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill (anaerobic decomposition), it releases methane, a harmful gas that traps the sun’s heat and contributes to climate change. Recycling organic waste (aerobic decomposition) will release carbon dioxide instead, which is a far less potent greenhouse gas. By recycling organic waste, we can create compost and/or clean energy which will help reduce the impacts of climate change. Designated businesses that generate large amounts of surplus edible food will be required to have an edible food donation program. Visit our SB 1383 FAQ page for a list of frequently asked questions.

In September of 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). SB 1383 is the most significant landfill waste reduction mandate adopted in California in the last 30 years. Its goal is to reduce organics waste landfill disposal by 75% (from 2014 levels) by 2025. This means diverting more than 20 million tons from landfills. The legislation aims to slow climate change by diverting organic materials from landfills, recovering 20% of edible food and redirecting it to food-insecure Californians.

Benefits of SB 1383 and Food Waste Prevention

It is important to commit to reducing food waste and participate in recycling organic materials. Discarding organic materials (all food, garden and grass clippings, nonhazardous wood, and food soiled paper) takes landfill space and contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling organic materials can build healthy soils, conserve water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to our local economy.

The benefits of food waste prevention, edible food recovery, and composting food waste and other organics are becoming more widely understood by the public; Reducing food waste can save money and resources by reducing your purchasing, handling, disposal, and energy costs. Businesses can widely benefit from food waste prevention and other food waste tactics because it will allow them to foster customer loyalty. On a personal level these practices can be a community bonding exercise by using a community garden, donating to local food banks and overall contributing to a healthy ecosystem.

City of Arcata's Organics Recycling

Currently, the City of Arcata has a universal solid waste and recycling collection program, which requires that all residential, multifamily, and business property owners subscribe to one of the service levels provided by Recology Arcata for garbage and recycling collection. When available, all property owners will be required to subscribe to a three-bin collection service, which will compost organics rather than sending them to a landfill.  All generators will eventually be subject to enforcement. The City Council passed Organic Waste Diversion Ordinance 1560, effective January 20,2023, which amended solid waste management provisions of the Arcata Municipal Code to incorporate mandatory organic waste disposal reduction requirements.

Compliance Information

When organics curbside collection service is available, single-family households/residents are required to:

                  • Subscribe to and participate in the City’s organics curbside collection service.

                  • Properly sort their organic waste into the correct bins.

When organics curbside collection service is available, businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings of five units or more, are required to provide organics bins and education to staff, customers, and residents.  Compliance can be achieved through the following:

                  • When available, subscribe to and participate in the City’s organics curbside collection service

                  • Provide organic waste collection services for employees and tenants

                  • Supply an adequate number, size, and location of correctly labeled/colored bins.

                  • Annually educate employees/tenants on how to properly sort organic waste into the correct bins.

                  • Provide information to new tenants within 14 days of occupation of the premises.

                  • Inspect bins for contamination

A waiver program will be available for businesses and residents with specific qualifications.  If you would like more information on waivers please refer to City of Arcata's Organic Waste Diversion Ordinance 1560.

What are the current options for recycling organics?

Food waste is not being collected yet by the City's authorized collection contractor. However, you may choose to compost at home by buying a compost bin for your backyard from the City of Arcata or another provider.  Residents can self-haul green waste to a green waste recycling facility (Steve Morris Logging) located at 1500 Glendale Drive Mckinleyville, CA 95519. For additional information on its services, call 707-822-8537.  View our Composting & Green Waste Resources page for information.

Here are some local community composters:

Full Cycle Compost provides weekly residential or business curbside pickup of compost in the Arcata, Sunnybrae and Bayside area. For a small fee, they provide a racoon-proof bucket for your food scraps and it will be picked up and taken to one of their compost sites by bicycle! If you live outside of their service area, you may also arrange to drop off your food waste at their El Jardin Sanctuario drop site for a smaller fee. Please visit their website for more information.

The Local Worm Guy offers residential, curbside and business food waste pick up service in Trinidad, Westhaven, McKinleyville, Fieldbrook, Blue Lake, Arcata, and Eureka. They also provide worms for home vermicomposting. Please visit their website for pricing and additional information.

Edible Food Recovery for Businesses

If you are a food-related business, you have additional roles to play in order to comply with SB 1383. Please view the Edible Food Recovery page for information or visit the CalRecyle Food Recovery webpage.

If you would like to learn more about food recovery and food waste prevention please visit our Feed People Not Landfills website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please go to our Frequently Asked Questions page if you have any questions regarding SB 1383.


Environmental Services Dept.

(707) 822-8184

Arcata City Hall

736 F Street

Arcata, CA 95521

Contact us!

Recology Arcata

(707) 683-4853

555 Vance Avenue

Samoa, CA 95564