Edible Food Recovery

California is implementing statewide organic waste recycling and surplus food recovery in 2022 to reduce emissions of methane from food and organic waste in landfills. The law also aims to reduce food insecurity by ensuring more surplus food reaches people in need instead of being thrown away. SB 1383 requires the state to: 

  • Reduce organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025
  • Reduce at least 20% of currently disposed surplus edible food by 2025

What is required?

The law requires mandated food donors to maintain records of their food donation activities. Jurisdictions will monitor compliance by requesting the following types of records during inspections:

  • Contract or written agreement information for food recovery organizations and services
  • Schedules for food donation deliveries or collections
  • Quantity of food donated in pounds per month
  • Types of food each food recovery organization and service will receive or collect

SB 1383 places commercial edible food generators into two tiers. This tier system allows businesses and local governments more time to prepare to expand or build new food recovery infrastructure for foods that are harder to safely store and distribute.  

Who is required to act now?

Starting January 1, 2022, these Tier One  Commercial Edible Food Generators, called Tier One Businesses, must donate as much surplus food as possible:

  • Supermarkets with revenue ≥ $2 million. 
  • Grocery Stores with Facilities ≥ 10,000 sq. ft. 
  • Food Service Providers 
  • Food Distributors 
  • Wholesale Food Vendors 

Who will receive the food?

Valley Churches – Valley Churches United Missions (VCUM) is a grassroots organization serving the needs of low-income residents in the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley. 

St. Phillips Pantry – The St. Philip’s parish community answered the call for families and individuals in need through our weekly food pantry ten years ago. 

Grey Bears – The Healthy Food Program delivers a weekly grocery bag of fresh produce and healthy staples 48 weeks per year.

Second Harvest Food Bank – They source over 11 million pounds of food each year and distributes it to 150 food pantries, schools, soup kitchens, group homes, youth centers and other sites.

How will these donations be tracked?

CalRecycle has developed a model recordkeeping tool that commercial edible food generators can use to ensure compliance with recordkeeping requirements. The use of this specific tool is optional.

Who is required to act later?

Commercial Edible Food Generators, called Tier Two Businesses, are required to recover as much surplus edible food as possible starting January 1, 2024:

  • Restaurants with Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats 
  • Hotels with an On-Site Food Facility and 200+ Rooms 
  • Health Facilities with an On-Site Food Facility and 100+ Beds 
  • Large Venues and Events 
  • State Agency Cafeterias with Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats 
  • Local Education Agency with an On-Site Food Facility 
  • Non-Local Entities