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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As of July 1, Sacramento residents are required to use their green bins to separate organic waste from their garbage. 

The recycling program is part of a statewide effort from Senate Bill 1383 signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. 

Under the law, residents must separate organics from their garbage and put food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings in the yard waste bin, which in most jurisdictions is in a green-colored bin.

Yard trimmings include grass, leaves and prunings in the green waste bin. Food-soiled paper items include pizza boxes, used paper plates and coffee filters. 

According to the Sacramento County website, here are items that won’t be accepted in the yard waste bin: 

  • No coated paper, cartons, to-go containers
  • No pet waste or pet litter 
  • No liquids
  • No grease or oil
  • No treated, painted, stained, and oiled wood
  • No recyclables: glass, metal and plastics
  • No plastic: bags, utensils, styrofoam and wrap
  • No compostable plastic cups or utensils

Here is what keeping organic material out of landfills is supposed to accomplish, according to the county: 

  • Reduces the production of methane — a potent greenhouse gas
  • Extends the capacity of landfills
  • Turns organic materials into beneficial mulch and compost that makes nutrient-dense, water-retaining soil 

What is SB 1383?

The bill signed by Brown in September 2016 aims to reduce California’s methane emissions with a target reduction level of 50% by 2020 and a 75% reduction level by 2025. 

According to the city of Citrus Heights, California landfills are responsible for the third-largest source of methane. 

Methane emissions from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills are a source of greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, city officials said.