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Legal Alert

January 1, 2024, Deadline for Restaurants, Hotels, and Health Facilities to Send Surplus Food to Food Banks and Charities

January 1, 2024, Deadline for Restaurants, Hotels, and Health Facilities to Send Surplus Food to Food Banks and Charities

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. In order to meet this target, California established new mandates for the collection and disposal of organic waste (like food, landscape waste, lumber, and paper). One of the requirements is that by January 1, 2024, Tier Two Businesses, which are defined below, must arrange through a contract or written agreement with a food recovery organization or service (like a food bank or nonprofit charitable organization) that will accept edible food the business will not be using for redistribution. The law also requires that the business keep records of the organization that collects or receives the food, as well as a copy of the contract or written agreement. Cities and counties are required to develop a list of food recovery organizations to assist with the distribution.

Tier Two Businesses are:

  • Restaurants with 250 or more seats or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet
  • Hotels with an on-site food facility and 200 or more rooms
  • Health facilities with an on-site food facility and 100 or more beds
  • Large venues such as conference centers or halls that annually seat or serve an average of more than 2,000 people per day
  • Large events such as sporting events or flea markets that charge admission prices and serves an average of more than 2,000 people per day

The deadline for Tier One Businesses to send surplus food to food banks and charities was January 1, 2022. Tier One Businesses are:

  • Supermarkets
  • Grocery stores with a total facility size equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet
  • Food service providers
  • Food distributors
  • Wholesale food vender

All commercial businesses whether profit or nonprofit, shopping malls, and industrial facilities are already required to:

  • Subscribe to and participate in their city's or county’s organics curbside collection service OR self-haul organic waste to a specified composting facility, community composting program, or other collection activity or program
  • Provide collection containers for organic waste and recyclables in all areas where disposal containers are provided for customers, except in restrooms. Internal containers must conform to the proper color requirements or labeling requirements. If a business chooses to use containers that are the correct color, internal containers purchased prior to January 1, 2022, do not need to be replaced until they are no longer functional or until January 1, 2036, whichever comes first
  • To reduce contamination, businesses must provide annual education to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers regarding how to properly sort organic material into the correct containers
  • Businesses must periodically:
    • Inspect organic waste containers for contamination.
    • Inform employees if containers are contaminated.
    • Instruct employees about how to properly sort material into the correct containers.
    • Businesses must provide organic waste collection services for: Employees; Tenants; Contractors; and, Customers.
  • Provide information to new tenants within 14 days of occupation of the premises.

Cities and counties were required to adopt local ordinances to impose these requirements upon businesses, and to start enforcing the requirements by January 1, 2022. Cities and counties are required to begin conducting inspections of Tier One businesses by January 1, 2022, and Tier Two Business beginning January 1, 2024, and may issue notices of violation for noncompliance along with penalties and fines.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Alene Taber
Alene Taber
Los Angeles, CA