What’s New in Solid Waste?
California is fighting climate change with a new mandate called SB1383 that established methane reduction targets for the state. Everyone in the state will be a part of this effort. Why? Because half of what Californians currently dump in landfills are organic materials like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard.
When these organic materials are sent to a landfill, they produce methane, a short-lived climate pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide that is greatly contributing to the effects of climate change in California. Organic waste in landfills emit 20% of California’s methane.
With more severe and lengthy droughts, warmer temperatures that contribute to the increasing number of wildfires (also impacting air quality), bigger storms, and coastal erosion due to rising sea levels, everyone has a part to play in the effort. The law was passed in September of 2016 and went into effect this year.
When available, all residents, including businesses will be required to either subscribe to a County provided collection service or self-haul organics to an authorized collection site where organics will be composted rather than landfilled. Self-haulers of organic waste must comply with the requirements of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations Division 7 Chapter 12 Article 7. Humboldt County code for self-hauling can be found here Version OptionsSB 1383Headline. Some waivers/exemptions may be available. The County and all generators will eventually be subject to enforcement.
Although residents are not required to start putting their compostables in a different bin right away, now is a good time to start preparing yourself for the transition by making changes to your habits that help reduce waste.
What can you do now? Become a smart shopper by preparing ahead of time checking what you already have at home before going to the grocery store. By making a plan for your food, you are more likely to use the food you buy. Freeze any extras right away to enjoy at a later date and buy bulk to cut down on packaging waste. Composting at home, if done in a sanitary manner, is also a great idea. More ideas for reducing and reusing is available at savethefood.com, a helpful website produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In addition to the goal of reducing organic waste disposal statewide 75% by 2025, California aims to recover 20% of edible food currently being thrown away to help feed the 1 in 4 Californians without enough food to eat. Businesses that generate edible food must recover edible food that would otherwise be disposed by contracting with food recovery services or organizations, or self-haul the edible food to organizations that will accept it.
Humboldt County's franchised waste haulers that provide curbside collection of trash and recyclables are Recology, Humboldt Sanitation, and Tom's Trash. Please contact waste haulers directly to sign up for service.
555 Vance Avenue Samoa, CA 95564 (707) 442-5711
965 Riverwalk Drive Fortuna, CA 95540 (707) 725-5156
2585 Central Avenue McKinleyville, CA 95519 (707) 839-3285
41864 Highway 299 Willow Creek, CA 95573 (530) 629-2070
For compliance information, click on the appropriate tab below
- Single Family Households/Residents
- Commercial Businesses and Multifamily Residents/Complexes
- Edible Food Recovery
- Food-Related Businesses
Single-Family Home Residents and Multifamily Complexes of Less than Five Units
When available, residents are required to:
Subscribe to and participate in the County’s organics curbside collection service.
- Properly sort their organic waste into the correct containers.
- Residents are also allowed to self-haul their organic waste to an eligible organic waste collection site.
- Some waivers/exemptions may be available in low population areas.
Businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings of five units or more, are required to provide organics bins and education to staff, customers, and residents. Some waivers/exemptions may be available. Compliance can be achieved through the following:
- When available, subscribe to and participate in the County’s organics curbside collection service OR self haul organic waste to an eligible composting facility, community composting program, or other eligible site.
- Provide organic waste collection services for employees and tenants
- Supply and allow access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers with the correct labels or 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.
- Inspect bins for contamination
A waiver program will be developed for businesses that generate small amounts of recyclable and/or organic waste. This may be the case if there's a small number of employees and they generate minimal waste overall.
If you are a food-related business, you have additional roles to play in order to comply with SB 1383. Please click on the Edible Food Recovery tab for information, visit the CalRecyle Food Recovery webpage and/or visit the county's Edible Food Donation and Recovery webpage.
In addition to the goal of reducing organic waste disposal statewide 75% by 2025, California aims to recover 20% of edible food currently being thrown away to help feed the 1 in 4 Californians without enough food to eat. Businesses that generate edible food must recover edible food that would otherwise be disposed by contracting with food recovery services or organizations, or self-haul the edible food to organizations that will accept it. Therefore:
- The County is developing a food recovery program and strengthening their existing food recovery networks
- Food donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills
- Food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain records.
If you are a food-related business, such as a large grocery store or supermarket (> 10,000 sq. ft.), wholesale food vendor, food service provider, food distributor, large restaurant facility (> 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats), large hotel with onsite food facilities (with 200+ rooms), health facility with onsite food facilities (with 100+ beds), large events and venues, state agency cafeterias (> 4,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats), please see the 'Food-Related Business' tab for compliance information.
For more information on edible food recovery requirements for generators, visit the CalRecycle organics website.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 (see definitions below) food-related businesses have additional roles in order to comply with SB1383.
Tier 1 businesses include wholesale food vendors, food service providers, food distributors, and grocery stores and supermarkets larger than 10,000 square feet. Tier 1 businesses typically have more produce, fresh grocer, and shelf-stable foods to donate. Tier 1 businesses must begin requirements January 1, 2023.
Tier 2 businesses include hotels with onsite food facilities and more than 200 rooms, health facilities with onsite food facilities and more than 100 beds, state cafeteria at least 5,000 square feet or with more than 250 seats, large venues and events, and restaurants at least 5,000 square feed and more than 250 seats. Tier 2 businesses typically have more prepared foods to donate, which often require more careful food handling to meet food safety standards. Tier 2 businesses must begin January 1, 2024.
How Can Tier 1 and Tier 2 Businesses Comply?
Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses must:
- establish a contract with a food recovery service or organization.
- donate the maximum amount of edible food
- maintain records of donations
What are the current options for recycling organics?
At this time, only some areas in Humboldt County are provided curbside collection service for greenwaste, however, green waste may be self hauled to various sites. Contact your area waste hauler (listed above) for information. Food waste is not being collected yet at all by the County's franchised waste haulers. However, you may choose to compost at home or sign up for service to have your food waste collected by one of the following operators.
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.
Remember, it is everyone's responsibility to prevent contamination. Always ensure your trash, recycling, and greenwaste/foodwaste are properly segregated in the appropriate containers. Keeping your materials separate and clean (avoiding contamination of organics with trash and recycling) will keep costs down for everyone.
Read the SB1383 legislation here Version OptionsSB 1383Headline.
Zero Waste Humboldt also has great resources on their website.
For more information on SB1383, please visit CalReycle’s webpage or contact Humboldt County Public Works at 707-441-7491.