What You Need to Know About the City’s New Organics Waste Disposal Ordinance

New Programs Planned to Help Reduce Greenhouses Gases

The City of Goleta has a new organics waste reduction ordinance in place. On January 18, the Goleta City Council unanimously approved the Organics Waste Disposal Ordinance to comply with State law. Senate Bill (SB) 1383 directs public agencies to reduce organic waste disposal (food waste, paper, and landscaping debris/cuttings) by 75% and rescue 20% of currently disposed surplus food, by 2025. Public Agencies must have programs in place and fulfill other requirements to reach this goal. Residents, commercial generators, edible food recovery organizations, waste haulers, waste facility operators, and self-haulers are required to participate in these programs.

Residential customers are already in compliance and currently require no further action. Please continue to place your organic waste, such as food scraps, into the brown trash bin. To reduce the amount of food waste that goes into the brown bin, home composting is still encouraged as the preferred alternative. All green waste, or yard trimmings, should still be placed in the green bin, as this material is processed separately into mulch. The City will proactively contact affected entities that need to achieve compliance and provide options to help local businesses and organizations with the process.

Several new programs are being developed by the City to reduce greenhouse gases and comply with SB1383. Three momentous programs include Edible Food Recovery, City-wide Organics Recycling, and participation in the ReSource Center.

  • Edible Food Recovery Network: The City of Goleta, County of Santa Barbara, and other jurisdictions are implementing a County-wide program to recover edible food that would otherwise be landfilled and distribute it to those in need. This program primarily applies to the commercial food serving businesses, such as grocery stores, food distributors, and restaurants. The City will contact applicable food generating businesses and help them through the enrollment process.
  • Organics Recycling: In addition to edible food recovery, SB1383 requires all residents and commercial entities to recycle non-edible food waste like food scraps. For residents, this is being achieved comprehensively through the innovative County ReSource Center. Businesses that generate more than 2 cubic yards of waste and meet other criteria may need to dispose of their organic waste in a separate container by enrolling for “yellow bin” service with Marborg. The City will be in contact with applicable businesses. Compliance options are available based on need and site-specific factors.
  • The ReSource Center: Recyclables and organics are separated from trash, and organics are transformed into compost and energy that powers up to 3,000 homes per year. With this new facility, approximately 60% of additional waste from our trash is diverted from the landfill, bringing our region’s waste diversion rate to above 85% while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This means that residents who live or work in these areas are following the new state law without the need for additional yellow bin service. For more information, please view this informative video about the ReSource Center.

Additional information is available on our City website at https://www.cityofgoleta.org/city-hall/public-works/solid-waste.

Please contact the City of Goleta Environmental Services Division with any questions at environmentalservices@cityofgoleta.org.

Pictured: Organic compost donation courtesy of CalRecyle