FAQs for Edible Food Recovery

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What is Edible Food Recovery?

Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills and compost facilities each year, some of which was still fresh enough to have been recovered to feed people in need. While billions of meals go to waste, millions of Californians don’t have enough to eat. 

To reduce food waste and address food insecurity, surplus food still safe for people to eat will instead go to food banks, soup kitchens, and other food recovery organizations and services to help feed Californians in need.

This will save landfill space and lower methane emissions, a climate super pollutant, emitted by organic waste in landfills.

Why is the City of Santa Maria implementing this new program? 

California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction law (SB 1383, Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) establishes methane reduction targets for California, including a target to increase recovery by 20 percent of currently disposed edible food for human consumption by January 1, 2025.

To meet the mandated statewide goal, the law requires each jurisdiction in California to establish and monitor a robust food recovery program, which will strengthen the relationships between commercial edible food generators and food recovery organizations within their communities, requiring certain food producing businesses to send the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise dispose to recovery organizations.

Who is mandated to participate in Edible Food Recovery?

Commercial Edible Food Generators 
Graphic provided by CalRecycle.

How will this affect my monthly utility bill?

Your monthly utility bill will not be affected.

Will the City of Santa Maria pick up edible food and deliver it to the Food Bank?

No, transporting the Recovered Food is the responsibility of the generator.

When can my business start donating Edible Food to Recovery? 

What happens after my company starts donating edible food?

All generators must track the amount of donations for annual reporting to California via the City of Santa Maria. Also, continue donating all recoverable edible food.