Organic Waste Collection (Food and Yard Waste)

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Organics_mixed materials_CroppedSenate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), effective January 1, 2022, establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. The law establishes an additional target that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025. This law is intended to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of California's economy. Residential dwellings are required to recycle organics (food and yard waste) and place them in green containers.

Mandatory Organic Waste Collection Overview

SB 1383  mandates all businesses, including, but not limited to, multi-family residential complexes of five units or more, mixed-use complexes, schools, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, government buildings, and commercial properties to separate and recycle their organic waste (food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, non-treated lumber/wood waste, and food-soiled paper). As of January 1, 2022, all businesses must subscribe to organic waste collection service with Athens Services.

For more information about mandatory organic waste collection for businesses in the City of Thousand Oaks, visit Athens Services. Click here to learn more about SB 1383.  


In 2012, California Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341) set a statewide goal of diverting 75% of our waste from landfill by 2020. To achieve this ambitious goal, an additional 20 million tons of material per year needs to be diverted from landfills. Mandatory organics recycling (AB 1826) was the State’s next step toward achieving California’s ambitious recycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. Decomposition of organic wastes in landfills produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contribute to global climate change. Therefore, diverting edible food to the hungry and turning food waste into compost will help California conserve resources and achieve its ambitious climate change goals, reducing the potential for costly climate impacts in the future. Starting in 2022, California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) requires every jurisdiction to provide organic waste collection services to all businesses and residents.

The City's Role

 Food Donation croppedSB 1383 requires jurisdictions to provide organic waste collection to all businesses and residents and to implement a food recovery program for edible food waste. The City is required to conduct outreach and education to inform businesses about organic waste collection requirements, as well as monitor compliance and identify those businesses not recycling organics. In addition, edible food waste generators shall arrange to recover the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed and donate to a food recovery organization. 

In addition to being serviced by Athens Services to deliver your organic waste (food and green waste) to a composting facility, the City encourages businesses to explore options for donating excess food to food recovery organizations for distribution to hungry people. Nearly 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten.  Food-Recovery-Hierarchy

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) food recovery hierarchy (right) shows different options for food waste disposal, from most to least preferred.

Source Reduction. Reduce the volume of 
food waste generated by purchasing only 
what is needed. Food waste reduction technology and equipment such as pulpers and dehydrators can reduce your food waste volumes. A few companies that offer this type of equipment, including food waste pulpers and dehydrators, include:
InSinkerator - food waste reduction systems and equipment (pulpers)
Somat - waste reduction technology (dehydrator)
Feed hungry people. Too much edible food gets thrown away. The City can help you 
connect with local non-profit food recovery organizations to get leftover food to hungry people. If you donate food, you may be eligible for a tax deduction or credit! Good Samaritan laws protect you from liability when donating food in good faith. Click on the berries image above to get more information about good Samaritan protections and tax incentives, which can benefit your bottom line if you donate food to a charitable organization. 
Feed animals. Food trimmings and waste can be turned into animal feed.  For more info, visit the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture website.

Industrial usesWaste cooking oil can be converted to biofuel. In addition, bio-digesters can turn used oil and food scraps into energy. The City has machinery to turn Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) into energy at the Hill Canyon Waste Water Treatment Plant (HCTP). For more information, contact one of the companies listed below, which pickup and deliver waste cooking oil and FOG to the HCTP for bio-digestion. 

Coastal Byproducts


Buron's Preferred Pumping Co.


Alpha Pumping Inc.


Imperial Western Products/Biotane Pumping

877-424-6826 (877-4-biotane)


Mandatory Organic Waste Collection

Per SB 1383, all businesses, including multi-family complexes of 5 units or more,* mixed-use complexes, and residents must be compliant with State law and are required to participate in Athens Services organic waste collection service. The service utilizes bins and carts to collect organic waste, which are picked up weekly. Residents are also required to recycle their organic waste by placing food waste and yard clippings in their green organics cart. The organic waste is taken to a processing facility for composting.

*For additional details about how the law applies to apartment/multi-family complexes, visit our Multi-Family Recycling web page.

For information about organic waste collection service, or to request a consultation at your business, contact Athens Services at (805) 852-5264.      

To learn more about the commercial waste collection service and regulatory requirements which became effective January 1, 2022, the City hosted virtual community workshops on May 13, 2021 and May 19, 2021. Click the links below to view recordings of the workshops.

Recording of Workshop

Workshop Slides

Additional Resources

Click on the image below to download our FREE organics sign to help kitchen staff put the right waste in the green organics container! Post them on the bin and/or on the wall above the bin. If you have additional questions about what businesses can place in the green organics containers, visit



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