How Can Businesses Reduce Organic Waste for SB 1383?

With SB 1383 enforcement lurking over businesses starting in January, 2022, there is less than a year to prepare. Commercial Buildings and Multifamily Dwellings will be required to separate food waste and compostable waste from the main garbage waste stream at that time. What are a business’ best option? What should a business do to reduce organic waste for SB 1383 and meet its requirements?

“Food waste alone accounts for about 18 percent of landfill disposal, and we can reduce that percentage by reducing food waste and increasing edible food rescue.”– CalRecycle

Reducing Organic Waste Saves Money

It should be noted that besides being good for the environment, recycling and reducing organic waste is also good for business. In many jurisdictions in California, diverting organics from the waste stream saves a business money. Reducing the volume of garbage results in lower fees for hauling garbage to the landfill. Some jurisdictions don’t charge for recycling and/or organic waste removal, while some give discounts on waste hauling fees for increased recycling. There are usually not any additional fees or expenses incurred by a business to comply with SB 1383.

Organic Material Collection

Sorting bins inside a business help to reduce organic waste

In most cases, the local jurisdiction for a business’ location will provide organics material collection services, which normally means that the waste haulers in your area will take care of it. The waste hauler will provide bins or receptacles for waste, organics, and recyclables. There may be one, two, or three bins, depending on the requirements in your jurisdiction and whether the hauler does their own separating. The hauler delivers the organic material to an approved organics processing facility, where it will be composted or recycled. Through a special waiver from their jurisdiction, a business might be able to self haul organic waste to an approved organics processing facility, but that is not the norm.

What is “Organic Waste”?

In SB 1383, the state defines “organic waste” as solid wastes containing material originated from living organisms and their metabolic waste products including, but not limited to:

  • Food
  • Green material, landscape and pruning waste
  • Organic textiles and carpets
  • Wood
  • Paper products, printing and writing paper
  • Manure, biosolids, sludge, digestates

Composting to Reduce Organic Waste

A proper composting program results in organic material going in a full circle, from unusable food and organic material, to compost, then back to food or living plants and animals. In a typical business, organic material goes full circle by these steps:

  1. A business buys the food or compostable products
  2. The waste materials go into a compost receptacle
  3. The waste recycling hauler picks up the compostable material
  4. The hauler takes it to a composting facility
  5. The composting facility turns it into fully developed compost soil amendment
  6. The compost is used to grow the food, fruit, grains, nuts, or animal feed

The material has gone full circle and is now available again for us to consume.

Starting Your Business’ Organic Recycling Program

Start your organic recycling program by appointing an employee to identify the main source of your compostable waste within your facilities. Make sure the employee becomes educated on the different types of waste streams that will need to be separated into proper receptacles for recycle. Call your local waste company and determine what they consider a compostable material. With proper receptacles and internal education, you can kick off a comprehensive program that fits the requirements of your local SB 1383 waste recycling and disposal requirements.

WasteXperts Can Help

WasteXperts can help your business save money on waste disposal expenses. We can work with your waste hauler to set up your recycling program to reduce organic waste for SB 1383. Use our contact form to start a conversation about how we can solve your waste disposal needs and save your business money.

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