California Laws Require Waste Sorting

Senate Bill 1383 sets statewide targets to recover edible food and reduce disposal of organic waste in landfills. The bill aims to feed hungry people and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It requires the separation of organic waste like food, food-soiled paper, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard from garbage. It was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2016, is enforceable via local ordinance, and applies to everyone, everywhere in California: at home, work, school, parks, venues, and events.

Assembly Bill 341 requires multifamily residential complexes with 5 or more living units to separate traditional recyclable materials (bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, etc.) from their garbage.

Assembly Bill 1826 requires multifamily residential complexes with 5 or more living units to implement an organics recycling program for yard trimmings. Effective January 1, 2022, SB 1383 supersedes this bill.

South San Francisco Scavenger and the cities we serve are working together to educate the community and to provide appropriate services. Multifamily properties are required to subscribe to recycling, organics, and garbage service and to sort materials correctly. If you do not currently have recycling and organics service, please contact us today!

Did You Know?

South San Francisco Scavenger offers no-charge collection of properly sorted cardboard, paper, and recyclable containers (bottles, cans, etc.). We offer organics collection at the same charge as garbage service. An adequate level of weekly garbage service is required before recycling services can be added.

Durable, easy to clean, recyclables collection tote bags and kitchen pails are available for no charge. We will provide one of each per living unit. They are for residents to use for collection and transport of appropriate materials. Bags/pails must be emptied into the larger collection bins serviced by our trucks. Each bag and pail features graphic-rich instructions for use.

Waste reduction and sorting tips can be found in our Sort Smart Recycling Guide. Printer-friendly guides, posters, labels, and more are accessible here.

Our outreach team is standing by to help you implement or improve your recycling efforts. Contact us today!


  • Empty your kitchen pail into the green organics bin daily. Rinse and wipe your pail clean as needed.
  • Use newspaper or paper bags to line you pail or wrap food scraps. You can also try using a paper box (like for takeout meals). These can be filled with food scraps, closed, and the full box placed in your green organics bin. You can even freeze the boxed or wrapped scraps and place in your green bin the night before collection.
  • Inside your green organics bin, cover layers of food scraps with pizza boxes, other food-soiled paper, or a layer of yard trimmings (if you have any). Putting a layer of newspaper or cardboard at the very bottom of your bin each week can be particularly helpful. Paper and yard trimmings help absorb moisture and odors.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your kitchen pail or green bin as needed to absorb moisture and odor.
  • Clean your green organics bin as needed. When it is empty, carefully tip it over on a landscaped area, lightly rinse it out, and let dry with lid open. Wipe down with newspaper or a paper towel and then toss it inside.
  • Keep your kitchen pail and green organics bin lids closed.
  • Please do NOT use plastic or bio/compostable plastic liner bags. They take too long to break down and thereby prevent our anaerobic digester from doing its job.