Senate Bill 1838 (SB 1383), passed in September 19, 2016 by Governor Governor Edmund Brown Jr., establishes planned targets for short lived pollutants, including methane, in multiple sectors on California’s economy. To cut methane emissions, California has established a plan to recycle organic material an divert it from ending up in landfills. Organic waste that ends up in landfills significantly contributes to methane levels measured in the atmosphere.
Why Does SB 1383 Target Short Lived Pollutants
SB 1383 recognizes short lived pollutants as “powerful climate enforcers” that detrimentally impact air quality and public health. Methane emission goals are specifically outlined in SB 1383. The enforcement provisions of SB 1383 include reductions in the amount of organic material disposed of in landfills by at least 50% (from 2014 levels) no later than January 1, 2020 (and by 75% by January 1, 2025).
By 2025, the Senate Bill also intends to salvage at least 20% of currently disposed of food. Decomposing human food, and other organic material produces methane (along with other landfill gases). Though methane is a natural gas, it is a substantial contributor to Earth’s greenhouse gas effect. Many organic materials can be recycled, or composted and need not end up as waste in landfills. According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), authors of SB 1383, food makes up about 18% of California’s landfill waste. Preventing food and other organic waste products from ending up in landfills as waste will limit the amount of methane that California produces annually.
To comply with SB1393, residents living in single-family homes in the RethinkWaste Service Area will be provided curbside organics that are made from reduced materials, (those without compost service can go to Recology San Mateo County to set one up). Business and property owners that consist of five or more people will be required to send their organic waste to a facility which can properly recycle it. The SB 1383 regulations go into effect January 1, 2022.