SB 1383 implementation insights article

From Awareness to Action: Continued Communications to Catalyze Waste-Sorting Change

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SB 1383 implementation insights articleWith California’s Senate Bill 1383 having been in effect since 2022, odds are that by 2024 most state residents are aware of the bill and its organics recycling requirements.

If you are part of a jurisdiction in California, your organization has most likely devoted time over the past two years to educate your residents and businesses on proper waste sorting to remain compliant with the new organics recycling requirements.

While your residents and businesses know about your jurisdiction’s organics recycling program and the gist of what it requires, how will that awareness translate into behavior change?

Moving from awareness to behavior change is an important stage in change communications, so here are a few considerations that reinforce why continued communication is key during this stage:

  • Understanding is a pertinent step in moving from awareness to behavior change. To ensure your communications are easy to understand and remember, share clear guidelines and be consistent with repeated messages. It is proven that individuals need to hear new information around seven times before they remember it, so repeating key messages is key!  
  • The impetus for change, sometimes referred to as a “burning platform,” emphasizes the urgent need to change from the current course of action. Consider reminding residents and businesses of both the State’s requirements for these changes and the climate impacts of organics ending up in landfills.
  • Social norms are yet another element that can drive people to change behaviors – if they feel that the people they know are adopting these new ways they will as well. This is when peer pressure can operate in your favor. Consider sharing data that shows a trend toward program participation, or highlighting stories of neighbors’ organics recycling success.
  • Lastly, think about what you want your residents and businesses to feel as they embark upon adopting these new, long-term behaviors. Many jurisdictions are approaching SB 1383 compliance with the aim of making residents feel educated, supported and encouraged. Consider providing tailored educational materials, such as cart tags, that provide information and feedback on waste-sorting practices, and remember to use language in line with the style and tone you wish to convey.  

As we all know, change is hard but Tripepi Smith is here to help. To learn more about how the Tripepi Smith team can help your agency with organics recycling outreach and engagement, please visit