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Organic Waste Recycling

SB 1383: California's short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategy
State law SB 1383 addresses climate pollutants by requiring single-family homes, multi-family complexes, and businesses to subscribe to and participate in organic waste (food and yard waste) collection service. The goal of an organic waste recycling program is to divert organic waste from the landfill to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts on climate change. Composted food scraps primarily emit carbon dioxide, whereas landfilled food scraps emit methane - a GHG that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfilled organic waste accounts for 20% of California's methane emissions. 

SB 1383 and Monterey City Code (Chapter 14) require single-family homes, multi-family complexes and businesses to either:
  • Subscribe to and participate in organics curbside collection service through Monterey City Disposal Service
  • Self-haul organic waste in compliance with Monterey City Code, Section 14-6 requirements
    • If self-hauling, organic waste must be removed on a weekly basis and cannot create a health and safety nuisance. Violating these requirements will result in no longer being permitted to self-haul.
    • Self-haulers for businesses and multi-family properties with 5+ units are required to maintain records of the amount of organic waste delivered to each facility or activity that recovers it. Records are subject to inspection, and shall be provided at the frequency requested by the City.
    • All self-haulers are required to submit a certification form.

As of January 1, 2022, residents can now add accepted food scraps to their green curbside cart. All unpackaged food scraps are accepted with the exception of raw meat, oil and liquids. To add organic waste recycling services, contact Monterey City Disposal at (831) 372-7977. SB-1383-FactSheet_English

Free 2-Gallon Household Food Scrap Collection Pails Available for Pickup!
  • Please pick yours up in the Planning Office at 570 Pacific Street
  • Open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, closed for lunch 12-1pm
Do not bag residential food scraps - including in compostable bags! Not all "compostable" or "biodegradable" products are created equal, and many have been greenwashed. Greenwashing is when a company markets products as environmentally conscious, but the product is not as sustainable as it claims to be. The ReGen Monterey windrow composting system processes organic material into compost over 90-120 days, while compostable products can take up to a few years to break down. 

Get all the details:

SB 1383 regulations require random annual container contamination monitoring of all collection routes. The purpose of sampling is to identify contamination and provide educational feedback to residents and businesses on what goes where. Auditors are documenting visible contamination and do not open bags or remove material to maintain privacy. Keeping the organic waste stream clean helps ensure that the material can be composted and utilized.

The Commercial Food Scrap Collection Program is available to businesses in the City of Monterey. The purpose of this program is to make it simple and convenient to participate in composting by adding food scrap collection to your existing commercial waste collection service. Much like with mixed recyclables, the food scrap collection program will allow you to add an additional container(s) for separating food scraps from other types of waste. Food-Scraps

To add organic waste recycling services to your account, please contact Monterey City Disposal Service at (831) 372-7977.

Businesses may submit an application to the Sustainability Office to waive their obligation to comply with organic waste recycling requirements. Applicants must provide documentation that they meet one of the following requirements: 

De minimis
  • Amount of total solid waste generated (trash, recyclables, and organic waste combined) is less than 2 cubic yards of total weekly service and generates no more than 10 gallons of organic materials per week.
  • Amount of total solid waste generated (trash, recyclables, and organic waste combined) is 2 or more cubic yards of total weekly service and generates no more than 20 gallons of organic materials per week.
Physical Space
  • For commercial entities that lack adequate space for recyclable materials containers and/or organic materials containers required for compliance. Evidence demonstrating lack of adequate space must be conducted by the garbage/recycling hauler, a licensed architect, or licensed engineer.

Approved waivers are valid for no more than five years. Waiver holders must notify the City of Monterey if circumstances change, impacting waiver eligibility. Waiver holders are required to cooperate with the City for compliance inspections.

Waiver Application Form

AB 1826: Mandatory organic waste recycling
State law AB 1826 and Monterey City Code (Chapter 14) require that businesses have an organic waste recycling program based on how much waste is generated per week. The requirements are:
  • On and after January 1, 2017, a business that generates four cubic yards (800 gallons) or more of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • On and after January 1, 2019, a business that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste (trash, recycling and organics combined) per week, shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • On and after September 15, 2020, a business that generates two cubic yards (400 gallons) or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Home composting
You know how wonderful a forest smells? That aroma of dense, healthy, thriving plants? That’s naturally occurring compost. Compost is rich, dark, great-smelling, crumbly and soil-like. Home composting is an effective way to create mineral-rich soil naturally, without spending a cent. Finished compost is a wonderful soil amendment that improves the texture of soil and adds important micronutrients. Compost retains nutrients from decaying material in a form that is easily absorbed by plants. Soil created by composting also retains moisture at a much higher rate. You can start a compost pile with leaves and trimmings from your yard, as well as food scraps from your kitchen.

Onsite composting is an SB 1383 compliance option. Verification and certification of onsite composting by City staff is required to establish compliance, and programs must comply with Monterey City Code Chapter 14 and meet the following criteria:
  • All organic waste generated at the business/property is separated from the garbage and composted onsite.
  • Organic waste cannot create a health and safety nuisance, and must be maintained in a manner that does not create odor, vector, or litter impacts to the community.
  • Signage is posted and training is available to demonstrate to users which materials should be source separated from the garbage into the compost.
To comply with SB 1383 via onsite composting, submit this certification form accompanied by photo documentation. Contact Mallory Pankretz at with any questions about establishing compliance with SB 1383 requirements via an onsite composting program.

Learn about composting, find out about upcoming workshops and get compost supplies at:

ReGen Monterey
14201 Del Monte Boulevard
Marina, CA 93933-1670
Phone: (831) 384-5313
Fax: (831) 384-3567

For information on the City of Monterey's implementation of SB 1383's edible food recovery requirements, see the Edible Food Recovery page.