Organic wasteResidents of the unincorporated areas will receive most of their information on how to comply with SB 1383 from their waste haulers, many of which have already begun to explain the law to their customers. Most San Bernardino County residents and businesses are located within the jurisdictions of the county’s 24 incorporated cities and towns, which are required to develop their own approaches to comply with SB 1383.

“We recognize the state’s mandated changes will be disruptive to many of the residents and businesses we serve in the unincorporated areas,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “The County is committed to ensuring a smooth transition, with ample time to educate our customers, so there is no confusion about the new requirements, and so customers can prepare and adapt.”

The County’s plan to roll out the planned changes to solid waste collection in the unincorporated areas has been submitted to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, for its review and approval.

SB 1383, the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction act, was signed into law in 2016, but its most impactful provisions phased in on January 1, 2022. The law was passed to help California reach key environmental goals, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and extending the life of existing landfills by diverting more recyclable materials. It also sets stricter requirements for compliance to ensure that California is recycling and reusing as much of its waste stream as possible.

According to the State, of all pollution control measures, reducing methane from landfills will have the biggest immediate impact on climate pollutant reduction. The decay of organic wastes in landfills is responsible for 20% of the state’s methane emissions. Methane is a super-pollutant, 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its impact on the climate. According to CalRecycle’s most recent solid waste study, organic waste (such as food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard) is the most prevalent type of material going to landfills, making up 51% of what Californians discard.

CalRecycle will enforce compliance with SB 1383 through the threat of fines against cities, counties, and special districts that provide solid waste collection services. To avoid those fines, the County will develop programs with its contracted haulers serving its unincorporated communities designed to enable compliance with the mandatory elements. As a result, the County is working to amend its existing franchise contracts with waste haulers to cover most of the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

“San Bernardino County is the largest county in California and is highly diverse both in landscapes and lifestyles. Our County is committed to carrying out this new mandate as flexibly as possible in consideration of the diverse lifestyles of County residents,” Meeka said. “We understand if some of our County residents and businesses feel frustration over the inconveniences associated with the new state mandates. The potential upsides of SB 1383 include improvements on San Bernardino County’s local and regional air quality and a reduction in illegal dumping as regular trash pickup becomes more accessible throughout the County.”

For further information about San Bernardino County’s transition to SB 1383 compliance, residents and business owners are encouraged to visit the Department of Public Works’ Solid Waste Management Division Organic Waste Recycling website,, and to sign up for email updates.