New Statewide Recycling Requirements Coming to CMSD

Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) solid waste customers, along with other residents across California, will soon be impacted by the implementation of California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) – a bill signed in 2016 that establishes a statewide goal to reduce the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills by 75%. The bill also set a goal to recover at least 20% of edible food waste by 2025.

While CMSD has provided an Organics Recycling Program since 2015, SB 1383 will require the District to increase its organic waste diversion from its current rate of approximately 50% to a goal of 75% by 2025. In addition to requiring increased organic waste recycling, SB 1383 will require increased education and outreach about organics recycling, decreased contamination of organic waste, and program monitoring and enforcement.  

To reach compliance with SB 1383, CMSD will be asking CR&R to take on new tasks required by the regulation, including route reviews, tracking contamination, service exemptions, compiling new reports, and conducting waste characterization studies. CMSD will also be exploring the potential transition to a three-cart system, which would provide customers with a dedicated recyclables cart plus a landfill cart and organics cart. (This would hopefully encourage the disposal of food waste in the organics cart since residents would also be separating recyclable materials.) All these changes will require CMSD to renegotiate the solid waste contract with CR&R.

Research has shown that greenhouse gases released by human activities, such as landfilling organics, like food and yard waste, contribute to climate change. To respond to the climate crisis, the state is requiring all California cities to reduce organic waste and rescue surplus food to feed Californians facing food insecurity starting on January 1, 2022. Organic waste includes the following materials: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, and non-hazardous wood waste.

CMSD will be working cooperatively with the Cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach to achieve SB 1383 compliance, since there is overlap between the jurisdictions. While CMSD is responsible for residential waste collection in Costa Mesa, the City of Costa Mesa is responsible for commercial waste collection. And, while the City of Newport Beach oversees the majority of trash and recycling within its city boundaries, CMSD services Santa Ana Heights.

As CMSD works with CR&R and neighboring cities to reach SB 1383 compliance, the District will share additional information about any changes to solid waste services or rates. CMSD and CR&R will provide extensive education to residents in the weeks and months ahead as details become available.