Organic Materials Ordinance Update

Project Contact: Claire Moss  |  |  619-679-4625


On September 14, 2022 (Item #7), the Board of Supervisors (Board) voted unanimously to adopt the Organic Materials Ordinance Update, an ordinance amendment for composting standards in the unincorporated area. Planning & Development Services (PDS) and Department of Public Works (DPW) developed the Organic Materials Ordinance Update project to help divert organic materials (e.g., food scraps, plant materials, and agricultural materials) from landfills. This was achieved by making amendments to the County’s zoning ordinance and regulatory code to allow organic material processing or composting to occur in more areas of the unincorporated county. Specific changes included:

  • adding more composting allowances on agricultural land;
  • allowing community composting in residential settings and adding more allowances for composting in community gardens;
  • creating small- and medium-sized commercial composting categories;
  • providing more permit options that reduce the cost and time to process composting applications; and,
  • ensuring the protection of public health and safety by including best management practice requirements to address issues of stormwater runoff, odors, pests, and others.