Senate Bill 1838 (SB 1383), passed in September 2016 by Governor Edmund Brown Jr., establishes planned targets for short-lived pollutants, including methane, in multiple sectors of California’s economy. To cut methane emissions, California has established a plan to recycle organic materials and prevent them from ending up in landfills. Organic wastes in landfills are a significant source of methane emissions.
SB 1383 Food Recovery
Methane emission goals are specifically outlined in SB 1383. The bill recognizes short lived pollutants as “powerful climate enforcers” that detrimentally impact air quality and public health. Though methane is a natural gas, it also contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect. Decomposing human food and other organic material produce methane (along with other landfill gases). LFGs are a combination of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, that are produced as organic wastes rot and break down.
Many organic materials can be recycled, or composted, and need not end up as waste in landfills. According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the authors of SB 1383, food makes up about 18% of California’s landfill waste. Preventing food and other organic wastes from ending up in landfills will limit the amount of methane that California produces.
California Senate Bill 1383 Effective Date
The enforcement provisions of SB 1383 include reductions in the amount of organic material disposed of in landfills by at least 50% (from 2014 levels) no later than January 1, 2020 (and by 75% by January 1, 2025). By 2025, Senate Bill 1383 also intends to salvage at least 20% of currently disposed food.
SB 1383 Requirements
To comply with SB1393, residents living in single-family homes in the RethinkWaste Service Area will be provided curbside organics that are made from recycled materials. Those without compost service can go to Recology San Mateo County to set one up. Business and property owners consisting of five or more people will be required to send their organic wastes to a facility which can properly recover it. The SB 1383 regulations go into effect January 1, 2022.