Green bins rolling out to residents in the City of San Diego

SB-1383 will introduce Californians to a new method of trash collection

SD trash bins

The trio to bins you’ll see outside of local households.

Image via Get It Done app

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Need trash and recycling collection? Bin there and done that. In 2023, your black and blue bins will have a new companion — the green bin, designed to collect organic wastes.

San Diego is beginning efforts to implement California State Senate Bill 1383 (SB-1383), an ordinance put into effect to reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills. This effort will reduce methane emissions, part of a statewide initiative to combat short-lived climate pollutants.

When will this begin?

SB-1383 was scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2022, but was delayed for residents in the City of San Diego due to the size of the program and the resources required, among other reasons. The bill also includes phased regulations for food distribution businesses like grocers and restaurants, but those regulations started last year or will begin in 2024.

The green bin distribution process began Wednesday, Jan. 11, for some households serviced by San Diego’s Environmental Services Department, but many people are still waiting. The rollout will continue citywide through the summer, with ~15,000 bins delivered weekly through August. Your timeline to receive your 95-gallon green bin depends on the day your trash is collected.

Green bin delivery schedule San Diego

When you can expect to receive your new green bin.

Chart courtesy of SanDiego.gov

Residents will also receive a kitchen pail to store food scraps and transport them into green bins.

Once you have your green bin, organic waste collection will happen weekly with your regularly scheduled trash pick-up.

But I live in a shared residence

If you live in a multi-family complex where you are not directly responsible for trash collection — like an apartment or a condo — the building must abide by SB-1383.

This means a capacity of 5 gallons of organic waste collection per housing unit, even if the complex uses a private hauler. Residents will also be eligible to receive smaller, 35-gallon green bins.

Green Waste Bin

From kitchen pail to green bin.

Photo via the City of San Diego

What goes inside?

SB-1383 aims to keep organic wastes out of landfills because this emits 20% of the state’s methane. Your green bins are different than the blue recycling bins, and should be used for:

  • Food scraps, but just the edible parts, not the packaging.
  • Yard trimmings like leaves and grass or non-hazardous woods like twigs.
  • Food-soiled paper waste, like napkins or coffee filters.

More info please

The city has shared its “Curbside Organic Waste Recycling” guide, or you can attend a “Your Home’s New Green Bin” session. The next webinar will be held over Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 6-7 p.m. and there are two in-person workshops scheduled.

Locals have time to get familiar with SB-1383, but the city is scheduled to issue fines for non-compliance in 2024.

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