Tag Archive for: investigation

While our efforts towards SB 1383 implementation and sustainment will carry on for the foreseeable future, we’re sad to say that our yearlong dedication to SB 1383-related blog posts is coming to an end.

We’ve covered topics ranging from Education & Outreach to Route Reviews & Enforcement, and everything in between. As we close out the year, we are giving you one last post covering information all about Hauler Programs / Management of Haulers.

Ultimately, jurisdictions are the ones responsible for the implementation and maintenance of SB 1383 requirements, however, these goals can only be achieved by working in partnership with the haulers. Franchise agreements have been, and will continue to be, drafted or amended to include SB 1383 language, including specific hauler proposed programs and measures of compliance to ensure that progress is made in the advancement and application of those programs.

Hauler Programs

Whether through sole-sourced negotiations, or through Request for Proposals (RFP) process, jurisdictions are including SB 1383 provisions in the form of a Sustainability and Compliance Plan (nomenclature may vary by agreement) and specific hauler required programs.

The hauler’s proposed plan must describe:

  1. How the hauler will provide outreach and education to residents, schools and businesses.
  2. The material that will be developed and distributed, including its format and distribution method
  3. How the hauler will maintain compliance with the State’s Mandatory Commercial and Organics Recycling mandates (SB 1383, AB 1826, AB 939, AB 341), including when and to whom letters will be sent, how compliance will be documented and reported.
  4. The hauler’s plan for waste audits, route audits, meeting cart color and labeling requirements, and site visits.

The plan also requires the hauler to document and report implementation of each of the plan’s components and other compliance data in an online waste reporting system or another format as designated by the jurisdiction.

Management of Haulers

Hauler programs are incorporated into respective franchise agreements to list specific actions that the hauler will take to assist the jurisdiction that they serve in achieving the requirements of SB 1383. You may ask yourself how jurisdictions are ensuring that haulers are applying the practices described in their proposed plans and franchise agreements.

There are several ways in which jurisdictions are ensuring that SB 1383 related hauler programs are being implemented, such as:

  1. Requirement of Staffing
    • Haulers are required to add a dedicated full-time Sustainability/Compliance Representative, whose responsibilities include conducting site visits and providing outreach and education in support of meeting Franchised and CalRecycle Diversion requirements and to meet State mandates, and all amendments and related subsequent legislation.
  2. Submission of a Sustainability and Compliance Plan
    • This plan can carry a different name, but essentially details the hauler’s plan of action to assist the jurisdiction in which it serves, in all the areas listed under the “Hauler Programs” section above.
  3. Regular Reporting
    • Jurisdictions can monitor and/or manage hauler progress through required reports that are provided monthly, quarterly, and/or annually (or some combination of the three). Some jurisdictions have begun to include a reporting line item requiring the hauler to list efforts made towards, and measured impact from, the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
  4. Right-Sizing of Containers
    • In an attempt to further increase diversion efforts, haulers are required to proactively assist multi-family and commercial customers in the rightsizing of containers, which includes an evaluation of material generation and increase/decrease of container size and/or frequency of collection.
  5. Administrative Charges
    • If a hauler fails to perform to the agreed upon standards of the franchise agreement in which it operates, jurisdictions have the ability to assess administrative charges to force correction of an identified issue


For November, we’re focusing on SB 1383 enforcement requirements. Although not the most popular topic, enforcement is imperative to accomplishing California’s climate and organic waste diversion goals by the year 2025!

A jurisdiction’s role in SB 1383 compliance monitoring, inspections and enforcement will include approving and issuing waivers to organic waste generators and accepting and investigating written complaints about non-compliance. Beginning in 2024, enforcement will include issuing a Notice of Violation and may progress to issuing administrative citation for repetitive offenses. Jurisdictions may designate provision of Notices of Violation to haulers, but the City must administer the associated penalties.

Managing the Enforcement of SB 1383 Requirements

  • Develop a contamination monitoring and inspection protocol.
  • Many collection haulers have developed contamination tags to be used as an educational tool for generators when contamination has been identified.
  • Follow-up outreach and education and/or Notices of Violation in response to observed violations.
  • Beginning in 2024, it will be beneficial to collect supporting documentation to assess administrative citations as necessary.

CalRecycle Enforcement

CalRecycle released an SB 1383 Compliance Process Guidance document to outline their escalating enforcement process for when jurisdictions are non-compliant. CalRecycle will conduct compliance reviews to identify violations. When CalRecycle identifies a compliance gap during a compliance review they may choose to address the issue informally or issue a Notice of Violation to the jurisdiction, which triggers the following enforcement process.

  • Notice of Violation (NOV): If a jurisdiction is found to be violating one or more requirements, CalRecycle may issue the Notice of Violation with a timeline of between 90 and 180 days to correct the violation.
  • Corrective Action Plan (CAP): When violations are caused by extenuating circumstances, such as natural disasters, delays in obtaining permits, or delayed recycling of organic waste, and the jurisdiction has made substantial efforts towards compliance; a Corrective Action Plan can be placed allowing up to 24 months to comply with an extension of 12 months.
    • Substantial effort is where a Jurisdiction has done everything within its authority and ability to comply. Does not include circumstances where a decision-making body of a jurisdiction has not taken the necessary steps to comply with the chapter, including, but not limited to:
      • Failure to provide adequate staff resources to meet its obligations, or
      • Failure to provide sufficient funding to meet its obligations, or
      • Failure to adopt the ordinance(s) or similarly enforceable mechanisms.


Helpful Links

Complaint Investigations

For this month, we’re focusing on complaints…

No, not our complaints about the challenges with rolling out SB 1383, and no, not generator complaints about having to pay for another bin and sort more materials…but rather the ability for a community member to submit a complaint to you about compliance issues they have noticed.

Complaint Requirements

Each jurisdiction is required to provide a procedure for the receipt and investigation of written complaints of alleged violations of SB 1383. Complaints must have the option to be submitted anonymously and in writing, which is often a challenge because traditional City complaint portals tend not to allow anonymous complaints.

You might expect the following types of complaints:

  • “My neighbor keeps putting garden hoses in their recycling container!” (Contamination)
  • “The local diner doesn’t have a green container for me to use for food scraps.” (Required bins not available)
  • “I called to get a replacement green cart, and my hauler gave me a brown cart.” (Incorrect bin coloring/labeling)

Or, less humorously…

  • Missing signage or labeling on waste bins
  • Lack of education and outreach materials on how to dispose of materials
  • No inspections of bins
  • No edible food recovery
  • No blue or green waste bin collection service
  • Missing blue or green waste bin

Complaints, generally, should be in writing and include the following information: 

  • The name and contact information of the complainant, if the complaint is not anonymous
  • The identity of the alleged violator, if known
  • A description of the alleged violation including location(s) and all other relevant facts known to the complainant
  • Any relevant photographic or documentary evidence to support the allegations in the complaint
  • The identity of any witnesses, if known

Follow Up Investigation

Municipalities are required to start an investigation within 90 days of receiving a complaint if the jurisdiction determines that the allegations would constitute a violation of SB 1383. The jurisdiction may decline to investigate a complaint if it has determined that an investigation is unwarranted because the allegations are contrary to material facts.

Once a complaint has been resolved the municipality should have a mechanism to notify a complainant of the results of their complaint if the identity and contact information of the complainant are known. The jurisdiction needs to maintain records of all complaints and responses in their Implementation Record. The records shall include the complaint as received and the jurisdiction’s determination of compliance or if a notice of violation was issued.

Recordkeeping of Complaints

Jurisdictions are required to annually report on the number of complaints received and investigated each year in the Electronic Annual Report to CalRecycle.

Warnings and Code Enforcement through 12/31/2023

A jurisdiction’s code enforcement should address a complaint if the issue is a true health concern that results from unsanitary conditions (ideally, more promptly than the maximum of 90 days).  Otherwise, responses to complaints may be conducted by city staff or a designated contractor for SB 1383 related complaints.

From now until December 31, 2023, a jurisdiction is required to provide educational material describing the applicable requirements of SB 1383 in response to violations.

Notices of Violation Issued after 1/1/2024

After January 1, 2024, the jurisdiction shall take enforcement action by:

  • Issuing a Notice of Violation requiring compliance within 60 days of the issuance of that notice.
  • Absent compliance by the respondent within the deadline set forth in the Notice of Violation, the jurisdiction shall commence an action to impose penalties.
  • The jurisdiction may extend the compliance deadlines set forth in a Notice of Violation issued if it finds there were extenuating circumstances including Acts of God, delays obtaining permits or government agency approvals, or if the jurisdiction doesn’t have sufficient organics or edible food capacity and is under a Corrective Action Plan.

Notices of Violation need to include the following information:

  • The name(s), or account name(s) if different, of each person or entity to whom it is directed
  • A factual description of the violations of SB 1383 and/or local ordinances, including the regulatory section(s) being violated
  • A compliance date by which the operator must take specified action(s)
  • The penalty for not complying by the specified compliance date

We will be providing additional details on the Notice of Violation process in next month’s Blog post!

AB 1276 Dual Purpose Complaint Form

On October 5, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1276 (Carillo) into law.  AB 1276 prohibits a food facility from providing any single-use foodware accessory or standard condiment to a consumer unless requested by the consumer.  AB1276 requires that cities authorize an enforcement agency by June 1, 2022 to ensure that food facilities comply with the law.

Cities and Towns can use the anonymous complaint form or portal that is established for SB 1383 to also be a complaint portal for AB 1276 complaints and other solid waste related matters. If your municipality needs to comply with AB 1276, R3 is available to answer questions and to assist your community in developing a process that will meet the requirements of the law.


Helpful Links