Culver City organics kitchen pail on desk

On January 1, 2022 Senate Bill (SB) 1383 Short-lived climate pollutants law went into effect. Please review the Culver City SB 1383 Commercial Brochure for a summary of business requirements.
SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 75% reduction by 2025 from the 2016 levels. Landfills produce a significant amount of methane gas, which is a green-house contributor, CalRecycle has set organics reduction guidelines that cities must adhere to. Cities are required to provide an organics collection program, reduce organics from being landfilled, and shall recover more than 20% of currently disposed edible food by 2025.

Separating Organics

Separating Organics

As easy as 1-2-3!

Separate, Collect, then Place Organics in the Organics Collection Cart to be collected and processed into compost.
Please watch our residential food waste/organics video to learn more.


Are you a gardener, landscaper, or contractor who generates organic waste and self-hauls your materials for disposal?

Organic Waste Self-Hauler Requirements(PDF, 5MB)

Organic Materials that Belong in your Green Cart

Food Scraps and Food Soiled Paper

  • Meats, seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Breads, grains, pastas
  • Fruits, vegetables
  • Bones, shells
  • Pizza boxes
  • Napkins, paper towels
  • Paper based to-go containers (without any kind of liner)

Yard Trimmings

  • Flower cuttings
  • Garden trimmings
  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Prunings 
  • Shrubbery
  • Tree twigs (4 feet or less in length & 6 inches in diameter) 
  • Weeds
  • Wood chips

How to Separate, Collect, Empty Organics in your Green Cart


  • While preparing meals or when cleaning the refrigerator, separate food scraps and always scrape any extra food from your plate into a kitchen pail.


  • Use a kitchen pail or any compostable paper container such as take-out boxes or paper bags to collect kitchen food scraps.
  • Include food-soiled paper such as coffee filters, paper plates, napkins, paper towels, parchment paper, and paper take-out containers.
  • Freezing food scraps or wrapping them in newspaper can prevent leaks and odors.


  • Empty food scraps, food-soiled paper and plant debris into the green organics cart.

Request a Kitchen Pail

Request a Kitchen Pail

Community Organics Hub

Community Organics Hub

The Community Organics Hub is available to the public as an alternative for residents who do not have organics bins at their residence. The schedule of Hub locations and times are below. 

Community Organics Hub Schedule & Locations

10722 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City (Behind Ralphs)
Tuesdays 8am - 2:30pm

11030 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City (Behind Party City)
Wednesdays 8am - 2:30pm

If you would like to begin service at your building, please call Environmental Programs & Operations at (310) 253-6400.


Reduce Wasted Food

Reduce Wasted Food

43% of wasted food in the United States comes from households. Food is too important to throw away. By making small shifts in how you shop, prepare and store food, reduce food waste and save money! Wasted food refers to edible food that is not eaten. Inedible food scraps such as banana peels, apple cores and bones are not included.

Check out food-saving tips on Food: Too Good to Waste for suggestions on how  to save money while reducing wasted food through proper planning and storing of materials. 

Learn the Labels

  • Best By, Best if Used By, Enjoy By: Relates to peak flavor or quality, not food safety.
  • Use By: Is for food that could become unsafe if not used before a certain date, such as meat, fish and dairy products. These are generally set by retailers or brands following guidance from health safety organization. 
  • Sell By: The store must sell by this date or remove them from the shelves.

Proper Food Storage

Depending on how you store or refrigerate certain foods you can extend or decrease shelf life of an item. For example if potatoes and onions are stored together, the gas from the onions will cause the potatoes to sprout. Cheese in sealed plastic will sweat from water evaporation, for a longer shelf life it is recommended to wrap cheese in wax paper. Learn more about food storage.


What items belong in organics?

Food Scraps & Food Soiled Paper:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Dairy Products
  • Bread, grains, pastas
  • Bones, shells
  • Food soiled cardboard such as pizza boxes
  • Food soiled napkins and paper towels
  • Paper based to-go containers

Yard Trimmings:

  • Flower cuttings
  • Garden trimmings
  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Pruning
  • Shrubbery
  • Tree twigs (4 feet or less in length and 6 inches in diameter)
  • Weeds
  • Wood Chips

Are wax-coated containers accepted in the organics bin? 

We have been notified by our organic waste management team at Athens that wax-coated containers, such as milk cartons, are no longer accepted. If containers have multiple materials that cannot be separated, they belong in the landfill.

Can I use plastic bags for my organics? 

Any clear, plastic bag is accepted in the organics provided that it is fully transparent. However, the City would encourage customers to skip the bag and place the organic material directly from the organics pail to the organics bin whenever possible.

Can I really put bones and meat in my organics bin? 

Yes, meat and bones is accepted in the organics bin. The City takes collected organics to Athens, which is able to compost at an industrial scale. Due to the different technology utilized at this scale, meat and bones are able to break down with the other organic materials. This may differ from a backyard compost.

I used utensils that look like plastic but say "Compostable", can these go in the organics?

No, if it looks plastic, it cannot go in the organics bin. The main reasons bioplastics are not accepted for composting are due to the degradation rate (bioplastic doesn’t break down quick enough) and the agencies that certify the use of compost on farms that grow certified organic produce do not allow for inorganic material in the compost. Bioplastics are considered “inorganic material” by California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

Does pet food go into the organics? 

Yes, unmedicated pet food, such as kibble or wet food, is accepted in the organics stream.

What if the packaging says one of the following words: “compostable, BPI Certified Compostable, Green Seal, and/or Cedar Grove certified,” but still includes or is made, coated, or lined with bio-plastic?

Just because something is certified compostable does not mean it will break down in the time required or is acceptable in most high-heat compost facilities, including American Organics. Athens does not accept any bio-plastics in their compost.

  • Green Seal does not certify items to be compostable.
  • Cedar Grove is a facility that BPI uses to certify compostability. Cedar Grove certifies that bio-plastic will compost in their process, however Athens will not accept bio-plastics.

What about PFAs/fluorinated chemicals in 100% fiber based compostables?

Fiber-based items have historically contained PFAs/fluorinated chemicals as a grease barrier. However, in order to meet current BPI certification standards, certified compostable products cannot contain more than 100 ppm of PFAs.

Do paper plates with decals/characters go in the organics?

No. Due to the lining on these plates, they are not accepted in organics.

Additional Tips

To ensure your countertop organics pail remains clean and functional, we recommend the following: 

  • Avoid overfilling the pail. 
  • Empty it every few days. 
  • Rinse with soap and warm water after each emptying and allow it to air dry. 
  • Freeze spoiled or smelly food items like meat, bones, and dairy, adding them to the pail only before disposal. 
  • Lightly sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the pail to help absorb odors. 
  • Keep the lid closed to deter fruit flies. 
  • Spray a little Castile soap on the food scraps to mitigate pests. 
  • Place a dry paper towel inside the pail to absorb moisture. 
  • If space permits, store the pail in the refrigerator until pickup day. 

For more information, watch this video about which materials belong in organics

Commercial / Multi-Family

Commercial / Multi-Family

Please review the Culver City SB 1383 Commercial Brochure(PDF, 1MB) for a summary of business requirements.

Multi-Family Buildings 

Here is a video explaining the New SB 1383 Recycling Requirements in California for Multi-family Buildings.

Commercial Requirements

Below is a list of general requirements:

  • Organics recycling is required for all California businesses
  • Tier 1 Commercial Food Generators are now required to establish food recovery programs 
  • Tier 1 Commercial Food Donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of food that would otherwise go to landfills
  • Both food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain records

Tier 1 commercial food generators such as the following businesses:

  • Supermarket
  • Grocery store (10,000 sq.ft.)
  • Food service provider
  • Food distributor
  • Wholesale food vendor 

Tier 1 commercial food generators  will need to establish contracts or written agreements with food recovery organizations and will have to keep records of the following information to demonstrate compliance:

  • Types of food recovered
  • Pounds of food recovered
  • Frequency that the food is recovered

Food donors will need to track the amount they donate by weight and maintain up-to-date records.
Records will be submitted to the City of Culver City on a quarterly basis. 

As of January 1, 2024, Tier 2 businesses (below) are required to follow SB 1383's food recovery requirements.

  • Restaurant (> 250 seats or 5,000 sq.ft.) 
  • Hotel with onsite food facility ( > 200 rooms)
  • Health facility with onsite food facility ( > 100 beds)
  • Large events and venues
  • State agency with cafeteria (> 250 seats or 5,000 sq.ft.)
  • Local education agency with on-site food facility


See How to Comply with California's New Food Donation Law.
There are laws in place to protect businesses when donating food:

Common Items Donated

  • Whole produce and baked goods
  • Pre-packaged foods
  • Food prepared by a permitted food facility.

Tips for Success: How to Make Organics Collection Work

Color Coded Bins with Signage to help divert organics and recycling.JPG

Use Color-Coded Bins with Signage – Part of any successful organics and recycling program is setting up proper internal collection containers.  City Hall uses color-coded bins to help staff separate their organics, recycling and trash. Bins at this site are blue for recycling, green for organics, and black for trash, with itemized pictures for each. These bins can be placed strategically throughout the work space.

For examples of different recycling and composting containers view the vendor list(PDF, 659KB)

Line containers with clear plastic bags, paper bags, or use no bag at all.

Train Employees Regularly – Monitor containers to ensure materials are included in the correct container. Common items that do not belong in the organics container are PLA items labeled “compostable”. If it looks like plastic, do not put it in the organics container. 
Provide Positive Feedback – Deskside recycling or organics containers can be reviewed for compliance. If you see staff separating items in the appropriate container, think about positive reinforcement. The City created “oops” and “awesome” tags for staff. Picture to the right shows staff with an “awesome” tag.
zero waste awesome tag to show diverting materials correctly.JPG Work with Janitorial Services – It's important to contact janitorial services before starting an organics collection program. Their staff will be emptying the internal containers to the collection containers outside. It is important that their staff know which container is for organics, recycling and trash so the program is successful.