What is SB 1383?

You might have heard about a new organic waste law in California called SB 1383. Senate Bill 1383, passed in September 2016, establishes waste reduction and emissions reduction targets for California. When organic waste decomposes in landfills, it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By limiting the amount of organic waste that gets landfilled each year, California is lowering its methane emissions. The following goals of SB 1383 are compared to 2014 levels:

  • Reduce organic waste disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025
  • Rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025

What does it mean for you?

To drive waste reduction, Truckee residents are required to separate all organic waste, including yard waste, paper, and cardboard from the general waste stream, but NOT food waste. SB 1383 includes an exemption for areas above 4,500 ft in elevation for food waste recycling. The unique mountain environment in high elevation areas makes a curbside food waste collection program extremely challenging due to wildlife and weather. Separating organic waste will reduce the quantity of material sent to landfills. With the exception of food waste, all these materials can be properly separated through our curbside collection program!

Information about and the best ways to dispose of each of those kinds of waste are as follows:

Food Waste – Due to wildlife dangers, DO NOT put food waste in your yard waste cart! Although the Truckee is exempt from food waste recycling, the Town is still motivated to do our part to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill and reduce methane emissions. Residents are encouraged to utilize one of the three food waste collection dumpsters around town.

Materials from food waste drop-off dumpsters are hauled by TTSD to Full Circle Compost in Carson City where they are composted into nutrient-rich soil. Only food waste is accepted in these dumpsters, no bags, paper, or other materials. Even if packaging is labeled as “compostable” it should not be placed in these dumpsters. “Compostable” packaging is not accepted by most commercial composters because it requires a lot of time and high temperatures to break down, and can possibly leach chemicals into the finished soil product. A good rule of thumb is that if you can eat it, you can compost it.  The three dumpsters around Truckee are located at:

  • Truckee Town Hall
  • Mountain Hardware & Sports on Donner Pass Road
  • Glenshire General Store

Food waste that does not end up in drop-off dumpsters should be disposed of in your trash can, NOT your yard waste cart. The main yard waste material collected in Truckee is pine needles. Since pine needles decompose very slowly and are quite acidic, they are not accepted in most compost programs. Instead, our pine needles are most frequently used for erosion control. Food waste, on the other hand, is sent to a composter where it can be turned into nutrient-rich soil. For this reason, food waste cannot be mixed in with yard waste materials in a yard waste cart, as the two materials are sent to different recycling outlets.

Yard Waste – Yard waste is collected every other week in yard waste carts serviced by TTSD May through November. Yard waste can also be hauled directly to Eastern Regional Landfill or to one of many drop-off events throughout the summer. Residents can also rent a yard waste dumpster through TTSD. Reserve your dumpster in advance starting April 4th, 2022. All kinds of yard trimmings including but not limited to pinecones, pine needles, branches, and grass clippings are accepted. Food waste, bags or any other kinds of materials are not accepted in any yard waste programs.

If you would like to order a yard waste cart, you can do so by calling Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal at (530) 583-7800. Carts can be delivered for a delivery fee or picked up for free at a pick-up event. Pick-up events are scheduled for April 29, June 4, June 24, and August 19. Green waste cart service will begin starting May 2.

Recycling – In Truckee we can recycle clean and empty:

  • Plastics #1 & 2
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Aluminum
  • Cardboard

All of these materials are collected year-round in your blue cart collected every other week, or in a blue bag collected weekly on your trash day. Cardboard can also be dropped off at cardboard recycling containers at Truckee Town Hall or at the Nevada Co. Sheriff Station. If those containers are full, please return later once the bins have been emptied. It is a violation, punishable by fine, to leave cardboard on the ground outside the dumpster.  

Food Rescue Efforts in Truckee

SB 1383 requires that large food-related businesses donate leftover edible food to food recovery organizations. The Town is working with local grocery stores and recovery organizations to ensure all edible food is donated rather than wasted. In particular, the Town of Truckee is excited to partner with Sierra Community House and Truckee Sourdough Company with Feed Truckee. Feed Truckee is a local initiative where local volunteers transport extra bread from Truckee Sourdough Company to Sierra Community House, and the bread is given out in their food distribution programs. Learn more and sign up to volunteer with Feed Truckee.