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Local Governments In California Are Now Required To Implement Penalties For Residents And Businesses Due To A New Law Regarding Organic Waste Collection

Local Governments In California Are Now Required To Implement Penalties For Residents And Businesses Due To A New Law Regarding Organic Waste Collection

Sacramento, CA: Effective January 1st, local authorities will have the power to impose fines and penalties for the improper disposal of food waste. CalRecycle states that the proper method of food waste disposal may differ for each resident.

The law aims to significantly decrease organic waste disposal and methane emissions in the state by 2025. Half of California landfills are filled with organics, including food scraps.

Here are the various approaches taken by different jurisdictions across California to address improper food waste disposal penalties:

Sacramento County

The Sacramento County Department of Waste Management and Recycling spokesperson emphasizes the importance of educating the public about proper food waste disposal. Garbage trucks are equipped with advanced technology that allows them to detect and handle waste inside the bin.

“Whenever inappropriate items are discovered in a cart, our staff will affix a cart tag that includes educational information regarding the findings,” explained spokesperson Brenda Bongiorno.

In certain situations, the trash bin may not be collected until the issue is resolved, and an additional fee may be charged if the bin needs to be picked up on a different day.

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“If the issue persists, customers may be advised to consider updating their service level to enhance the variety, capacity, or quantity of carts provided,” she explained. “In addition, we will make sure to reach out to the customer through a phone call or visit to provide a detailed explanation of the significance. Alternatively, we may also send a letter along with educational materials to emphasize the importance.”

Rancho Cordova city officials have been diligently informing residents about the recent implementation of food waste recycling. They have gone the extra mile by providing complimentary kitchen pails, compost bags, and informative pamphlets to ensure everyone is well-informed.

“Audits will be ongoing, however, individuals who fail to comply will be issued a notice of violation and given a 30-day window to rectify the situation, along with educational resources,” stated Maria Chacon Kniestedt, the city’s spokesperson.

If residents fail to comply with state law even after receiving a notice of violation, they may be issued a citation and given an additional 10 days to rectify the situation.

“Our primary focus continues to be on education, ensuring that residents have ample opportunities for improvement.” Our focus is on education and compliance, rather than imposing fines on residents. “Ultimately, this is about creating a better environment for everyone,” she stated.


Roseville city officials have confirmed their involvement in the Materials Recovery Facility located in West Placer, where waste and recyclables undergo sorting. Residents in Roseville Environmental Utilities’ service area dispose of waste in a single bin.

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A city spokesperson stated that Stockton officials will be providing ongoing education to residents regarding the appropriate use of their bins in the coming years.

“We are committed to ensuring that our residents are well-informed about waste separation and have the necessary resources to do so,” stated Connie Cochran.

Residents will not be subject to any fines or surcharges at the moment, and they can expect to receive outreach material soon.

According to her, businesses and multi-family residents are currently facing contamination and overfill charges when necessary.

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Modesto officials have implemented a 3-container solid waste collection system since January 2023, with a special focus on promoting the benefits of their new blue recycling container.

“Our main priority is to ensure that our residents are well-informed about the necessary compliance measures.” “We have recently added an online Waste Wizard, which is an excellent tool,” stated spokesperson Diana Ruiz-Del Re.

According to her, the contamination rate for Modesto’s organic containers was 18% before 2023. The current contamination rate is at an average of 3%.

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