Skip to main content

SB 1383 FAQ

Why is food waste (organics) recycling required? 

Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), established a requirement of reducing the amount of Organic Waste (food waste, green waste, paper products, etc.) that ends up at the landfill by 75 percent by the year 2025. Everyone is required to divert their organic materials from the garbage. In addition, certain entities that provide food will be required to donate their excess food to feed people.

What if I do not have a green waste/organics container? 

Contact your waste hauler to request a container.

I live in an apartment complex.  What about me? 

Each multifamily housing property within San Luis Obispo County is being assessed individually to determine if a green waste/organics container can be safely stored and emptied at each location. Contact the property owner for more information. 

​​​​​​​My commercial business does not generate organic waste, am I still required to have a green waste/organic container? 

Commercial businesses that believe they don’t produce enough organic waste to subscribe to organic collection services may apply for a waiver. For more information on waivers and to apply, please visit Organics Collection Service Waiver Application - San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority ( .

​​​​​​​If I move, can I take my containers with me? 

No, please contact your solid waste provider to inquire.

​​​​​​​How will this affect my monthly utility bill? 

Contact your waste hauler for rates. Most residential accounts are provided with all three containers as a bundled package with their service. 

When should I start using my green waste container for food waste? 

Residents can start putting food waste, food soiled paper napkins, and all other organics into their green waste/organics containers at this time. For more information visit the link in the sidebar.

What can I put in my green waste/organics container? 

The following organic items should be put in your curbside green waste/organic container:

  • Green and yard waste material such as landscaping cuttings, grass clippings, pruning, small branches (less than 2″ in diameter)
  • Small clean untreated lumber and wood pieces
  • Food and kitchen scraps
  • Uncoated food soiled paper such as food soiled napkins, food soiled paper towel, food soiled brown paper bags and uncoated/nonglossy food soiled newspaper
What cannot go in my green waste/organics container? 
  • Plastic bags & wraps
  • Marketed compostable products (bags, liners, utensils, or plates)
  • Paper napkins or towel with cleaning chemicals or bathroom waste
  • Pet waste or kitty litter
  • Dirt & rocks
  • Liquids – including fats, oils, and grease
  • Straws
  • Palms fronds , poison oak, cactus, bamboo, tree stumps
  • Painted or treated wood
  • Hygiene products (diapers, wipes, sanitary products)
  • Hazardous waste
  • Trash
How do I keep my green waste/organics container clean? 
  • Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the green organics container prior to filling it.
How can I avoid the food waste attracting animals and insects to my green waste/organics container? 

Always keep the lids of all containers closed. Add yard trimmings, such as leaves and/or grass clippings, in your green waste/organics bin prior to adding food scraps to help keep it clean. Place the green waste/organics container out for collection every week for service, even if it is not full. Lightly rinse your green waste/organics container as needed, emptying the water onto your lawn and not in the street where it can pollute waterways.

Will the food scraps make my green waste/organics container smell? 

It will not smell more than trash containers as it will hold the same type of material. However, to reduce odors, keep the lid closed and rinse regularly.

What if I already compost my food waste and/or generate little to no food waste? 

You can continue to compost food waste in your home or on your property. Your cities program will accept other organics that are not recommended for backyard composting, including clean untreated wood waste, larger branches, food soiled paper napkins, and certain food wastes that can attract vermin. SB 1383 requires waste service providers to collect all organics, not just those that can be recycled in backyard composting. For that reason, all residents will also be require to add green waste/organics collection services.

How can I receive a kitchen pail? 

Kitchen pails are available at no cost for San Luis Obispo County residents!

Participants can pick up a kitchen pail at the IWMA office at 870 Osos Street, San Luis Obispo Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. no appointment necessary, or you may also contact your solid waste provider.

What can I put in my kitchen pail? 

Whatever you are putting in your green waste/organics container can go in your kitchen pail. This includes fruit and vegetables, raw and cooked food scraps, meat and bones, fish and shellfish, cheese and dairy, eggs and eggshells, bread and cereal, grains and rice, food soiled paper napkins, coffee grounds and filters, and tea bag contents.

What cannot go in my kitchen pail? 

Plastic bags, wraps, plastic straws, liquids, marketed compostable products, paper napkins/towels with cleaning chemicals, and coated paper.

How do I keep my kitchen pail clean? 

Sprinkle baking soda in your kitchen pail to reduce odors. You may also line your kitchen pail with newspaper as seen in this video: Keep the lid of the pail closed and empty your kitchen pail into your green waste/organics container regularly. Rinse your kitchen pail each time you empty it; kitchen pails can be washed with dishwashing soap or put in the dishwasher. You can also keep your kitchen pail in your refrigerator or freezer to minimize odors.

Where can I find more information? 

If you would like information on SB 1383 regulations and statewide resources, you can find it at CalRecycle’s  website.


Join our mailing list