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Organic Waste Recycling Has Improved in California!

As of January 2022, Californians are required to divert all organic waste from the landfill, including food scraps, yard waste, paper products, and other organics. Organic waste buried in landfills releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and a major contributor to climate change.

If you live and work in the cities of Buellton, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Solvang, and the unincorporated areas of the Cuyama Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and South Coast, there is no change in how you need to manage your waste. The County's ReSource Center recovers recyclables and organic waste from the trash stream. Organics are then transformed into compost and clean energy.

As a reminder, your green cart should only contain yard waste like grass clippings, leaves, and branches. Please do not mix food scraps with your yard waste, as it interferes with the mulching process.

For those who live and work in the Lompoc Valley and Santa Maria Valley, we are expanding our program to include residential customers. Starting July 1, 2022, residents will start adding food scraps, food-soiled paper, and wet paper products into the green cart along with yard waste. Stay tuned for free kitchen collection pails this fall to make collecting organics easier! We also encourage residents to try their hand at home composting, or check out our self-hauling section for information on organic waste drop-off locations.

Green containers in the Lompoc and Santa Maria Valley can now accept more types of organic waste, including but not limited to yard waste, coffee filters, used napkins, greasy pizza boxes, and any food scraps or plate waste. If you ONLY produce yard waste or food waste, no problem; simply use your green container to capture the type of organic waste you produce. Everything in your green container is now composted at a local facility and then used in local agriculture.

Almost all businesses are now required to have organic waste service. Call Waste Management at (805) 922-2121 to subscribe to organic waste service. If you feel your business does not produce enough organic waste to need a green container, you can contact County staff to be evaluated for a waiver. Please visit this page to request a site visit.

If you live or work in the cities of Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, or Santa Maria, your jurisdiction has its own organics recycling program. Please visit your city’s website for specific details.

Organic Waste Collection Service Contacts:
Mackie Forgey and Tori Kampmann

Dive Deeper into SB 1383

  • SB 1383 is a California bill aimed at reducing methane emissions through the increased recycling of organic waste. The regulations require a 50% reduction statewide in the disposal of organic waste by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025. Additionally, SB 1383 mandates that 20% of currently disposed edible food be recovered for human consumption by 2025.
    There are two key pieces to this bill:

Check out CalRecycle’s SB 1383 video here:

Business that are required to donate food are:

Tier 1
(Starting January 1, 2022)
- Supermarkets
- Grocery Stores with Facilities ≥ 10,000 sq. ft.
- Food Service Providers
- Food Distributors
- Wholesale Food Vendors

Tier 2
(Starting January 1, 2024)
- Restaurants with Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
- Hotels with an On-Site Food Facility and 200+ Rooms
- Health Facilities with an On-Site Food Facility and 100+ Beds
- Large Venues and Events
- State Agency Cafeterias with Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
- Local Education Agency with an On-Site Food Facility
- Non-Local Entities

Contact the County today to obtain information on edible food donation programs for your business!

Food Recovery Contacts:
Kaitlyn Haberlin and Mackie Forgey

Peruse our other organics and ReSource Center pages for more information on organic waste in Santa Barbara County.

Self-Hauling

SB 1383 requires commercial organic waste generators, including landscapers, to maintain certain records if they self-haul their organic waste. You can view the self-hauler recordkeeping form in English or in Spanish.

Residents who self-haul their waste must also recycle their organics, but they are not required to maintain records.

Residents and commercial food scraps generators have the option to drop off their organics at the following locations:

Click here for a list of sites that accept green waste from businesses and residents. Please call ahead for hours of operation and applicable fees.

If you have any questions about the County’s organic waste recycling programs, please contact us or call (805) 882-3618.

Click here to report an alleged SB 1383 violation.

Backyard Composting

It’s still best to compost your organic waste at home! Home composting reduces emissions from waste hauling heavy organics and creates a great soil amendment to use in your garden.  Composting at home is both fun and easy to do, and doesn’t require large investments of time, money, or effort to be successful. We offer resources to get you started, including discounted composting bins, workshops, and a free booklet to help get you started.