Marsha McLean | Trash Talks: A New State-mandated Recycling Program Beginning July 2023 

Marsha McLean

 As a resident of the city of Santa Clarita, you may have heard about upcoming changes to our city’s waste services, including the transition to a new waste hauler and the implementation of the state-mandated organics recycling program. These changes will both begin on July 1. Our city has a history of preserving Santa Clarita’s environmental quality through sustainable actions, and we will continue to implement programs that achieve these goals.  

To inform residents of upcoming changes, Green Santa Clarita launched a video series called “Trash Talks.” Since the announcement video for this series was posted on social media, we received a number of questions wanting to know what is considered organic waste and how should it be recycled.  

One question asked is, “Why does the city of Santa Clarita have to recycle food waste?” To provide background, Senate Bill 1383 is a statewide, mandatory climate pollutant strategy that is designed to reduce the amount of harmful methane emissions from organic waste in landfills. The law requires Santa Clarita to implement a mandatory organics recycling program for residents and businesses. The state believes the success of the new strategy will be made possible by the collective action of residents and businesses to recycle all food waste.  

Another question we are asked is, “What exactly is considered organic waste?” The term organics is used to describe any type of organic food waste or green waste that would typically end up in a landfill. Food waste includes items such as fruits, vegetables, meats, seafoods, dairy, eggshells and breads, food scraps, peels or food-soiled paper. Green waste includes grass clippings, tree trimmings, leaves, flower petals and weeds. Included in the food waste category are expired foods or food that is not suitable for consumption.  

Since both food waste and yard waste are considered organics, it is important to know that organic waste will belong in your green organics cart. Green waste like leaves and branches can go in loose, while food waste specifically will need to be bagged and placed in the green organics cart. 

The city and Burrtec are working closely to ensure a smooth transition. All Santa Clarita single-family homes will have their existing waste carts replaced with new Burrtec carts beginning July 1. More information regarding the cart transition will become available leading up to that date.  

The city’s organics recycling program will not be active until July 1, but we want all residents to be prepared and know what changes are coming and what residents must do to abide with the new state law. The “Trash Talks” video series will give you critical information regarding residential waste programs.  

There is also valuable information on current waste services available through the city and waste hauler programs, including bulky item pickup and drop-off, household hazardous and electronic waste collection events, battery recycling and much more. Visit and view new episodes of “Trash Talks,” as they become available. Information will also be available on social media @GreenSantaClarita and @BurrtecSCV.  

Change isn’t always easy, but hopefully the information in this article will help with the transition and answer any questions you may have.  

Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. 

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