Organics Recycling



Beginning in 2022, California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) required all California counties to provide residents with a way to collect their food waste. Residents will be instructed by their waste hauler how collection of these materials will be handled.


Starting January 1st 2024, rather than throwing food scraps or spoiled food into your trash, you will separate this food waste from your trash by placing it in your green cart. One way to keep food out of the trash is by placing a small pail on our counter top or under your sink in your kitchen to collect daily food waste before disposing of it in the green cart or on your compost pile.

Check with your hauler for details, however here is a useful guide:

Items that SHOULD be placed in the Green Bin (Beginning January 1, 2024)

  • Compostable bags
  • Food Scraps/Waste
  • Paper coffee filters
  • Food soiled paper from food-service only
  • Food soiled cardboard (not plastic lined), from food-service only (ex. pizza boxes and cup sleeves)
  • Uncoated paper and cardboard ‘to go’ containers (no metal or plastic)
  • Wooden chopsticks, coffee stick stirrers, popsicle sticks, ice cream spoons, skewers, and other uncoated or untreated wooden utensils
  • Brown paper bags
  • Food soiled paper towels originating from food-service only
  • Cloth tea bags (plastic free)
  • Cardboard or paper egg cartons and cardboard berry baskets
  • Compostable utensils and plates
  • Wine corks
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper cupcake or muffin wrappers (no foil)
  • Paper plates and paper straws
  • Wood pieces 4-feet or shorter and 24 inches or less in diameter

Items that SHOULD NOT be placed in the Green Bin (Beginning January 1, 2024)

  • Any glass
  • Any metal
  • Any plastic
  • Any hazardous waste or substance
  • Plastic coated ‘to go’ containers
  • Plastic chopsticks
  • Paper that did not originate from food service (place clean paper in blue bin)
  • Cardboard that did not originate from food service (place clean cardboard in blue bin)
  • Human, animal, and pet waste
  • Polystyrene (Styrofoam)
  • Diapers (cloth or plastic)
  • Treated wood waste
  • Digestate and sludges
  • Manure
  • Biosolids
  • Organic textiles and carpet (recycle these at the landfill instead) – link these words with our pages about carpet recycling and clothing recycling respectively
  • Biodegradable plastic
  • Wax-coated containers such as milk and juice cartons or coated paper cups
  • Wood pieces longer than 4-feet and/or larger than 24 inches in diameter


  • Choose a container that works for you. Use a countertop pail or your own plastic tub. You can also use a decorative pail with a filter and lid.
  • Find a place to store it. You can keep food scraps on the counter, under the sink, next to your trash can or in the fridge.
  • If your green cart gets messy, a quick hose out should do the trick.
  • Use a clear plastic bag to line your pail and prevent leaks but know that these plastic bags may not be allowed in your green cart with your food waste. Check with your hauler before placing bags in your green waste bin.
  • Keep food scraps in the fridge or freezer until collection day. This helps your outdoor cart stay cleaner too.


Composting is a great alternative use for food waste. This is an activity that the whole family can get participate in and will provide rich nutrients for home gardens. For more information, visit the links below:


Less food waste can start with a few things:

  • Meal Planning / Developing a Shopping Guide
  • Knowing how to store food properly in your home (including labeling items in the freezer)
  • Knowing what to create with your leftovers
  • Understanding the dates on food labels
  • Preparing more accurate portions


There may be times where you have food that isn’t spoiled yet but you no longer have a need for it. One way you can help is by donating food to local organizations is a great way to prevent food waste from entering the landfill and benefit those in need in your community. Donating food can also be a tax deduction. For more information, contact your tax professional.

SB 1383 implementation in your community

Merced County Residents:

City of Atwater Residents:

City of Dos Palos Residents:

City of Gustine Residents:

City of Livingston Residents:

City of Los Banos Residents:

City of Merced Residents:

For more information about SB 1383 across the State of California, visit: