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What Is SB 1383?

California SB 1383 is intended to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and slow the effects of climate change by reducing the amount of organic materials headed to landfills.
To accomplish this, communities accross California are sorting materials like: food scraps and yard trimmings. These materials are sent for recycling and composting.

What Is the New SB 1383 Regulation?

SB 1383 is the most significant landfill waste reduction mandate adopted in California in the last 30 years. Its goal is to reduce organics waste landfill disposal by 75% (from 2014 levels) by 2025. This means diverting more than 20 million tons from landfills. The legislation aims to slow climate change by diverting organic materials from landfills, recovering 20% of edible food and redirecting it to food-insecure Californians.

Beginning January 1, 2022, residences and businesses will separate organics from trash and recycling.

To learn more, visit the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website.

Why Is It Important?

Every year, Californians dump organic waste like food scraps and yard trimmings into landfills. This waste makes up half of the materials put into landfills.

Disposing of organic waste rather than composting it creates 20% of California’s methane emissions. Methane is a climate super pollutant and is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.


California’s AB 1826 and SB 1383 require all businesses that generate more than 2 yards of waste to separate “organic” waste from their other trash. Organic waste includes yard waste as well as food waste.  Businesses that qualify must participate in the local jurisdiction’s organic waste recycling program. In South Lake Tahoe, the program will be rolled out gradually in 2023 and 2024. The start date for businesses will vary depending on the location of your business and how much waste you generate.

South Tahoe Refuse can provide assistance to determine if your business is eligible. We can also help to determine the appropriate container size and collection frequency for organics, trash and recycling.

Commercial businesses that are self-haulers, including landscapers, are required to maintain certain records if they comply with the organic waste collection service requirement by self-hauling their generated organic waste. South Tahoe Refuse developed the Recordkeeping Tool to assist self-haulers in meeting the recordkeeping requirements.


All California curbside collection residential customers, under the law, are required participate in organics and recycling services provided by South Tahoe Refuse. South Tahoe Refuse customers will not be required to separate food waste from their solid waste stream, but can voluntarily participate in food waste separation. Carts will be provided to California residential customers in summer 2024 to separate yard waste, recycling, and trash.

We also provide educational materials for waste reduction and signage to help sort materials correctly.


Local jurisdictions are required to have a program or ordinance in place when SB 1383 takes effect on January 1, 2022.

The focus during the first 2 years of SB 1383 is to educate citizens and help them comply with the new regulations and prepare Tier 1 and 2 commercial edible food generators for inspections that will verify whether their edible food recovery arrangements are compliant.

To learn more about these tiers and edible food recovery, go to El Dorado County – Edible Food Recovery Program.

Public schools and government facilities fall under the same regulation.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Who’s going to pay for all of this?
We all are. El Dorado County, the City of South Lake Tahoe and South Tahoe Refuse are currently reviewing the costs to implement SB1383, we will keep you updated.
Isn’t garbage just garbage? Why are California lawmakers requiring us to separate organic waste from the rest of our trash?

Scientists have found that organic waste dumped into traditional landfills decomposes and creates methane, a super-pollutant with as much as 80 times the Earth-warming potency of carbon dioxide.

To slow the advance of global warming, the state wants to redirect the material to composting centers or anaerobic digestion facilities, where it can help sink carbon back into the Earth or capture natural gas to — for instance — power trash trucks.

When do I need to begin separating my recycling and yard waste from trash?
The opening date for organic diversion will happen in the spring/summer of 2024. South Tahoe Refuse is working on outreach and education to keep customers up to date on changes.
What if I have a bear box?
South Tahoe Refuse will continue to service bear boxes. Customers will keep their 32 gallon rubbermade containers in the their bear box. They will receive separate recycling and yard waste carts that STR will supply.
What if I don’t want the three carts?
The three cart system is a California State Mandate, and all customers are required to have properly colored containers with labeling. For more information about SB 1383 please visit

Contact South Tahoe Refuse & Recycling Services

Have more questions or want to request an organic bin, schedule an in-person or virtual assessment?

Email with your name, address, phone number and a detailed message. Submit your full address, including your city or service area so we can route your request properly.

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