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California 1383: Start Composting 2022

California 1383: Start Composting 2022 | Alabama Sawyer

December 15, 2021

Is this Bill Organic? An Overview of California’s SB 1383

It’s no secret that it is time to get emissions down - but it can be tough to get everybody in a state as vast and great as California to work together.  That’s why California’s SB 1383 was passed in September of 2016.

This bill is essentially a statewide effort to lower methane emissions and it does this by setting 2 targets. 

  • Reduce organic waste disposal by 50% for January 1st, 2020 and then 75% for January 1st, 2025
  • Save at least 20% of edible food that is wasted by the 2025 date

(These percentages were based on 2014 emissions levels - for those who like doing the math!) 

Basically, this is a bill for cutting organic waste through strategies like composting food rather than throwing it in your garbage. It requires municipalities and jurisdictions to reach out to the neighborhoods and set up composting programs to reduce organic waste emissions. 

That means that California will need to divert up to 27 million tons of organic waste by 2025 - and it’s going to take everybody to meet that goal. For jurisdictions, this means providing organic recycling bins and collection services as well as outreach programs to educate the masses. A massive investment. It doesn’t stop there though. 

It also looks at taking donations from commercial food producers and handlers, but in this article, we’re going to focus on the composting side of the matter as there is a better chance it affects you.

Everybody who produces organic waste in the State of California is required to participate as per this bill, and the jurisdictions are required to enforce the program, so penalties may arise for those who are slow to adapt - so get with it, people! Besides - this is an exciting time. We can do this if we all pitch in and do it together!  

We think that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and keeping our planet inhabitable is a pretty good reason to create this kind of program - we’ve all got skin in this game. And we mean everyone! 

Even if you aren’t reading from California, the ramifications of these strategies likely still affect you as the sunshine state isn’t alone in passing this kind of legislation. If you live in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, this article still applies - though some details might be slightly different.

New York, for example, is taking a different approach. Right up on the Waste Department webpage they clearly state: “There is no “away” when it comes to waste.” We love this because it is absolutely correct! 

New York is aiming to send Zero Waste to Landfills by 2030 - and composting programs make up a large part of this strategy. They are also encouraging their residents to choose reusable items over disposable ones and advocating to ban or tax single-use plastics. All great stuff! When we said New York had a large composting strategy - we weren’t joking. 

New York City has one of the largest curbside organics recycling programs in the world. Rather than requiring the jurisdictions to pick up the food waste, residents bring them to a drop-off site. There are advantages to each approach, but you have to admit, it is convenient to have somebody pick it up, as we do in California.

Even if you don’t live in any of these states there are many municipalities that have their own versions of 1383. Whether you’re in Austin or Seattle, you’ve got composting laws and bylaws that may affect what you should be throwing in which bin. It pays to know! 

Honestly - it’s just a good idea. 

Everybody should compost and it really shouldn’t need to be a law, but hey, you have to get people on it one way or another! Composting is not only “good for the environment” by keeping methane-emitting organic waste out of the landfill. 

It also makes your garbage less smelly. Most of what makes a garbage stink is organic waste materials like vegetable scraps. So putting it into a compost bin or area is a great practice for clean home upkeep. If you have a good bin, there is zero smell. 

If you are at all interested in gardening, then composting is the practice that completes the circle - and that is just really cool. You are creating a micro-ecosystem that feeds you in return for your efforts. 

Growing your own food and composting the waste into fertilizer to grow more food is one of the most fulfilling practices a person can do at home. What’s the price of tomatoes right now - Who cares? It is self-empowerment. But if you don’t want to do it for yourself, then do it for the environment and the greater good.

Compost for the Environment

Bill 1383  doesn’t only make our garbage cans smell better, it makes our air cleaner. When we all pitch in and sort the organics into a compost bin, we are taking a large part of the landfill out that emits methane gas. 

Food was designed to go back into the ground and break down - but not concentrated in a landfill, where the fertilizer serves no plant.  Through improving soil fertility and building healthy plants as well as reducing the methane from landfills, we are taking a 2 pronged approach. But there are more than 2 prongs when it comes to composting.  

Compost for the Economy 

Creating a cheap source of nutrient-rich soil has great effects on the economy when done at scale.  When farmers can reduce their operating costs en masse, they are able to expand production and put out more food and make more money. 

This stimulates the rural economies and the money eventually makes its way back to the cities. Composting doesn’t only enrich the soil. It enriches the economy.

Compost for Yourself 

It’s really a no-brainer. Composting is the way to go. If you are interested in taking part in this program, then consider a Noaway Countertop Composting Bin. Our bins are stylish and yet very low profile, with natural wooden finishes. 

Whether you do it for yourself, the environment, or your wallet - it’s time to get a bin. Let’s make the world a better place.