Mandatory Organics Recycling
New State Law and Required Ordinance!
In 2016, California Senate Bill (SB) 1383 was signed into law by Governor Brown and establishes state-wide targets to reduce the disposal of organic waste and edible food. The regulations become effective on January 1, 2022, and applies to all persons or entities that generate organic waste.
As a part of this new law:
- All businesses and residents must be enrolled in organic waste or “green waste” collection services
- All businesses and residents will be required to properly sort materials for disposal
- Organics in the green waste cart,
- Recyclables in the recycling cart, and
- Only garbage in the cart intended for the landfill.
On December 7, 2021, the City adopted a new ordinance to amend the municipal code to reflect required organics services for all residential and commercial customers, as required by SB 1383.
The City is mandated by the state to establish and enforce this ordinance to implement organic waste reduction programs.
Below is the presentation associated with establishing the new ordinance linked above:
City Council Meeting, November 16, 2021
For more information about SB 1383 or technical assistance on composting and recycling (including training and free educational materials) email or call City staff at (510) 559-7686. To subscribe to green waste services, please contact East Bay Sanitary at (510) 237-4321.
- Food scraps
- Food soiled paper
- Yard clippings
- Vegetative matter @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
What does this mean for Residents?
City of El Cerrito residents, living in single-family homes, and multi-family complexes of less than five units, are largely already provided with weekly curbside recycling and organic waste collection services. Under SB 1383, all residents are required to not only subscribe to and participate in three stream curbside collection services (trash, recycling, organics) they are also required to properly sort their organic waste into the correct container (green waste container). Over the coming year, more education and outreach will be done to help residents understand how to properly sort their organics and other materials.
What does this mean for Businesses?
If you own a business or apartment/condo complex (of five units or more), you are required to comply with the following requirements unless you apply for and are granted a written waiver by the City.
Divert organic materials from the landfill by either:
- Subscribing to and participating in the organic waste collection service provided by the City OR
- Self-haul organic waste to a specified composting facility, community composting program, or other collection activity or program. To be able to self-haul organic waste you must receive written approval from the City. If the City approves your self-hauling of organic waste, records of the amount of materials delivered to each facility must be maintained and made available to the City upon request for inspection.
More Business Requirements
Businesses must provide collection containers for organic waste and recyclables in all areas where disposal containers are provided for customers (except in restrooms). However, if a business does not generate any of the materials that would be collected in a specific container, then it does not have to provide that particular container.
- Internal containers must conform to the proper color requirements and labeling requirements. If a business chooses to use containers that are the incorrect color, internal containers do not need to be replaced until they are no longer functional or until January 1, 2036, whichever comes first.
- To reduce contamination, businesses must provide education to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers regarding how to properly sort organic material into the correct containers, businesses must periodically:
- Inspect organic waste containers for contamination;
- Inform employees if containers are contaminated; and
- Instruct employees about how to properly sort materials into the correct containers.
Businesses must provide organic waste collection services for all employees, tenants, contractors, and customers. They must:
- Supply and allow access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers with the correct labels or container colors;
- Annually educate employees, contractors, customers, and tenants on how to properly sort organic waste into the correct containers ;
- Provide information to new tenants within 14 days of occupation of the premises; and
- Properly sort organic materials into the correct containers at business establishments.
Multi-family complexes are required to provide organic waste collection services for both employees and tenants. Complexes must:
- Supply and allow access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers with the correct labels and container colors
- Annually educate employees and 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
- Sort their recyclable materials and organic waste into the correct containers.