Among the new laws slated to come into effect on Jan.1, 2022, State Bill 1383 stands out as it requires residents to comply with proper food and organic waste practices. 

An earlier initiative by former legislator Ricardo Lara was supported by late Gov. Edmund Brown in 2016, which prompted a state initiative to reduce emissions of Short-Term Climate Pollutants(SLCP). By 2020, the initiative aimed to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in the landfill by 50 percent.

Like many aspects in daily life, the SLCP plan was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan also called for a 75 percent reduction by 2025. 

Educational Initiatives

Local governments such as the City of Chula Vista in it’s Office of Sustainability have sent out illustrated and detailed brochures titled  “New Food and Yard Waste Collection COMING SOON!” to inform the public on proper food waste management. 

San Diego County and city governments have launched a series of educational initiatives informing the public on SB 1383, since those in violation of the law could face fines.

Additionally, public officials have warned of the high operating cost this initiative could have for municipal governments. With this, there is still the possibility that local governments could request an extension for its implementation. 

Campaigns surrounding the use of waste bins

The city of Chula Vista carries out an information, orientation and education campaign to residents on the proper handling of recyclable and non-recyclable products, according to the city’s Environmental Services Manager, Manuel Medrano. 

According to Medrano, green waste bins labeled “Food and Yard Waste” are designated for organic waste such as tree branches, grass, leaves. Food waste such as banana peels, egg peels, bones, tortillas and like items may also be discarded in the green waste bin.  

In a brief phone interview, Medrano clarified that waste such as paper plates, pizza boxes, tea bags and coffee filters, napkins and paper towels, stained with food if appropriate, should be deposited in the green cans. 

Recyclable products, such as plastic water bottles, gallon glass bottles, egg cartons, newspaper, milk cartons and other items should be discarded in the blue bin. According to Medrano, plastic bags are a serious factor of environmental pollution since they are not recyclable or biodegradable. 

Any other waste that is not categorized as either organic waste or recyclable must be thrown in the black waste bin. 

Of all the waste produced by Chula Vista residents that is sent to the landfill, about 30 percent is organic waste according to Medrano. In January, the Office of Sustainability will implement a Food and Scraps program,to recover organic waste from residential and commercial businesses. Medrano said the collected waste will be processed into a compost product which will be used to improve the soil. 

The city will continue to mail brochures to residents about garbage separation programs. More information surrounding Chula Vista’s Zero Waste Initiatives may be found on the city’s webpage. Residents may find further information regarding SB 1338 on the Republic Services webpage. 

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