Governor Brown Signs Bill that will Divert 75% of the State's Organic Waste From Landfills

Thanks to the ongoing support of our members and all of our supporters who took action, our efforts to help pass a monumental piece of legislation has succeeded!

Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that has made California the state with the toughest reduction targets for Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in the entire nation. Short-lived Climate Pollutants, or Super Pollutants, are toxic air contaminants that pose significant environmental public risks, including premature death.

SB 1383, by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), requires the California Air Resources Board to implement the short-lived climate pollutant strategy to achieve a reduction in the statewide emissions of methane by 40 percent, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40 percent, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.

Organic waste materials make up two-thirds of the state’s waste stream and when disposed of in landfills they generate methane, a Short-lived Climate Pollutant that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide. In order to achieve methane reductions SB 1383 creates the target of a 75% reduction in the disposal of organic waste from 2014 levels by 2025. This will reduce methane emissions from landfills by diverting organic waste to be better utilized as soil amendments.

Additionally, this law includes a goal to recover 20% of edible food that is currently disposed to be better utilized to feed the more than 6 million food insecure Californians. Food waste is the most prevalent item in our landfills, and nearly 2 out of every 5 lbs of food produced is never eaten. In addition to avoiding landfill methane emissions, the diversion of edible food landfills allows it to be better utilized either to feed hungry people or animals in the case of food rescue.

The methane reductions that this bill creates will provide immediate beneficial impacts to air quality, public health, and climate change.

Help us continue our work as we fight for statewide solutions to waste reduction and recycling.