Recent estimates indicate that roughly 40% of all food produced in California never gets eaten – resulting in mass amounts of organic waste. In order to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills, the California Senate passed a historical bill that has major implications for everyone in the state of California, including all businesses: California Senate Bill (SB) 1383.

This new regulation aims to have anyone that generates organic waste reduce their disposal of food waste in landfills by 75% or more by 2025. If you’re a business owner in this situation, it can be daunting trying to figure out how to introduce these goals into your operations. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into SB 1383’s requirements and explore how aerobic digestion fits into all of this — from a compliance standpoint but also from an economic perspective. You’ll learn how to ensure your operation stays up-to-date with the regulations of SB 1383 while hitting your financial and sustainability targets.

What Exactly Is California Senate Bill 1383?

Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016 and came into effect on January 1, 2022. The bill established methane-reduction goals for the state of California.  Lawmakers also hope to address food insecurity with SB 1383.

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. One place that produces a lot of methane is the landfill, because food waste releases methane gas as it breaks down in landfills. By focusing on reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills, California hopes to reduce the state’s environmental footprint. SB 1383 set ambitious targets for reducing the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills: a 50 percent reduction in organic waste by 2020, and a 75% reduction of organic waste by 2025. This includes food scraps, green waste, and other material that can be composted or recycled.

The law also sets a goal to redirect food that is still edible to donation centers, rather than letting it get thrown out. The law requires that 20% of all edible food in California that would otherwise be thrown out is instead recovered and donated to feed the hungry.

Who needs to comply?

Put simply, everyone in California! For all aspects of the law related to recycling of organic waste, everyone needs to comply – including all California residents, properties, and businesses. As of January 1, 2022, you’re required to separate your organic waste and find a way to recycle it – whether that’s composting or investing in an aerobic digester. The largest entities impacted, however, will be municipalities throughout California, which are now required to establish organics recycling programs available to all properties, including businesses.

When it comes to donating food, as of January 1, 2022, all “Tier 1 and Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators” need to find a way to recover 20% of the edible food that would otherwise be thrown out. California defines Tier 1 businesses as: “a supermarket, grocery store with 10,000+ square feet, food service provider, food distributor, or wholesale food vendor.” Tier 2 businesses include large restaurants and hotels, health facilities, events and venues, and educational institutions.

How Can I Comply with SB 1383?

There are several ways for businesses to comply with SB 1383, such as composting, donation programs, food recovery programs, and investing in technologies like aerobic digesters. For information on food waste recycling options near you, contact your local city government.

Investing in an aerobic digester like a Syker System is a great way for businesses and other large organizations to comply with SB 1383 because it not only makes organic waste management easy and cost-efficient, but also reduces the release of greenhouse gasses from food waste.

Aerobic digesters use microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to break down organic matter more quickly than traditional composting methods, which can take weeks. The machine takes very little operational effort; all you do is add food waste to the on-site machine along with the microbes, and they break it all down in around 24 hours.

Aerobic digestion is a great solution for complying with SB 1383 and reducing your greenhouse gas footprint, all while dealing with your food waste in a more affordable and sanitary way. Rather than finding a way to transport your organic waste to off-site composting facilities, the Syker System can be easily installed on-site. This greatly reduces the amount of time and money you need to spend on waste management. Plus, you avoid any unwanted odors and pests resulting from letting your organic waste sit too long before it can be transported away.

California Senate Bill 1383 has set a high standard for reducing organic waste output across all industries in California, and other states like New York and Vermont are following suit. Whether you’re a restaurant, a hotel, or a university, investing in an aerobic digester machine like a Syker System could be just what your organization needs to comply with SB 1383—and reach your own sustainability goals in the process.