The City of Big Bear Lake contracts with Big Bear Disposal for residential and commercial trash service. To review the Franchise Agreement with Big Bear Disposal, click HERE.

Curbside Pick-up/Residential Collection

Curbside pick-up service is available through Big Bear Disposal for all Big Bear Lake homeowners/residents and vacation homes and weekend rentals. Find your residential trash collection day by clicking HERE. Beginning July 2023, Big Bear Disposal will be rolling out an enhanced residential solid waste and recycling program in compliance with new state legislation (SB 1383). All Big Bear Lake residents should have received a letter from Big Bear Disposal regarding the change in services. Said letter can be downloaded HERE.

RecyclingGuide 002

Note to Part-Time Residents and Rental Tenants: All Big Bear Disposal, Inc. customers are welcome to utilize curbside service provided they are at the residence on their day of pick-up.  If you are unable to meet the 12-hour time frame (The City prohibits leaving trash cans at the curb for more than 12 hours as the trash can be alluring to local wildlife) please utilize one of the two Clean Bear Drop-Off Sites for trash disposal and recycling.

For residential customers, trash is paid directly through the yearly tax bill and commercial customers contract with Big Bear Disposal directly -paying per EDU (equivalent dwelling unit) based upon the business type.

SB 1383: CALRECYCLE Organics Regulations
What is SB 1383?

In September 2016, the State set methane emission reduction targets for California in Senate Bill 1383, intended as a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (like organic waste) in various sectors of California’s economy.

SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to reduce the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills (50% reduction by 2020 and 75% by 2025). It also sets a goal to rescue at least 20% of currently disposed edible food by 2025 and redirect that food to people in need.

From 2016-2020, the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) worked to develop regulations to achieve the goals of SB 1383. These new regulations were finalized by CalRecycle in November 2020 and took effect in January 2022.

What is Organic Waste? The state defines “Organic waste” as food, landscape and pruning trimmings, lumber, wood, manure, cardboard, paper products, printing and writing paper, and other plant and animal-based products.


Why is SB 1383 Important?

The State has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve human health, and create clean jobs that support resilient local economies. Implementing the statewide plan under SB 1383 will reduce short-lived, harmful, super pollutants with significant warming impacts, and is essential to achieving California’s climate goals.

Organic waste in landfills emit 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard, make up half of what Californians send to landfills. 

The picture below shows the five main elements of the SB 1383 regulations that apply to the City of Big Bear Lake. Some aspects of these elements are explained briefly below along with the City’s implementation of each program element. 

Please note that the full text of the regulations is 126 pages—below is a simplified summary of some of the major components that the City of Big Bear Lake must comply with. The full regulations can be found here:

SB 1383 pic 1

Organics and Recycling Collection

One of the main requirements is to ensure that all residents and business have access to recycling and organics collection. SB 1383 requires specific colors for waste collection containers: trash containers must be grey or black, organics containers must be green, and recycling containers must be blue. All new containers must be clearly labeled with what does and does not go into them.

What Goes in Every Container

Garbage: Plastic bags, diapers, animal waste, polystyrene items, masks, gloves, wipes, & Styrofoam, food waste, food soiled paper & cardboard, Coffee grounds & filters, wet ashes (No liquids & no hazardous waste)

Organics: Loose pine needles, pinecones, grass clippings, weeds, leaves, twigs, tree trimmings, bark (No Food Waste)

Recycling: Aluminum Cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles (1-7), Tin Cans, newspaper, junk mail, cardboard, magazines, ledger paper, computer paper, plastic grocery bags, brown bags

SB Pic 2

High Elevation Waiver

The City of Big Bear Lake was granted the high elevation waiver effective on January 1, 2022 which exempts all generators within the City limits from the requirement to separate and recover food waste and food-soiled paper.

The organics collection requirements for the City of Big Bear Lake are different from the neighboring cities at the bottom of the mountain, in that organics collection will be limited to green waste/ yard trimmings.

SB Pic 3

Residential Collection

The City of Big Bear Lake will launch its residential organics recycling program in summer 2023. Residents are NOT required to separate food waste from the gray container, and yard/green waste can either be placed in the green can, or placed into plastic yard bags to be picked up on collection day. Residents still have the option to take yard waste to one of the Clean Bear Sites as an additional means of yard waste recycling. Contact Big Bear Disposal to request a green cart.

Residents are also encouraged to compost their food waste at home. Here are some resources to help get started:

Learn How to Make Compost from Kitchen Scraps and Yard Waste!

Why You Should Compost at Home


Commercial Collection

Businesses and multifamily complexes (5 units or more) are required to either:

    1. Subscribe to and participate in their jurisdiction’s organics curbside collection service OR
    2. Self-haul organic waste to a specified composting facility, community composting program, or other collection activity or program.

    The City may waive a Business’ (including multifamily) obligation if the Business provides documentation of the following circumstances:

    • De Minimis Waiver – Commercial businesses that generate a limited amount of organic waste may apply for a de minimis waiver if they:
      • Generate 2 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week and less than 20 gallons of organic materials per week; or
      • Generate less than 2 cubic yards of solid waste per week and less than 10 gallons of organic material per week.
    • Physical Space Waiver – Commercial businesses that demonstrate that they lack space for separate or additional green waste or food waste collection containers may apply for a physical space waiver. Commercial businesses are not eligible if the space constraints may be resolved by downsizing containers or using split containers.

    To obtain a waiver from organics waste collection  please complete and submit the attached application. Applications will be reviewed by City staff, and must be recertified every five (5) years. Commerical Waiver Application


    Self-Haul Requirements

    Commercial businesses that self-haul organic waste must maintain certain records to comply with the organic waste collection service requirement. The records commercial businesses that self-haul must keep are:

    • Delivery receipts and weight tickets from each entity receiving organic materials, including the amount of organic material in cubic yards or tons.
    • If the organic waste is transported to a site that does not have scales or that employs scales incapable of weighing the waste received, the self-hauler is not required to record the weight of material. However, the self-hauler must maintain a record of the entity that received the organic waste.
    • Self-Haul Record Keeping Tool
    Edible Food Recovery

    edible food recovery

    What is Edible Food?

    Edible food means food intended for people to eat, including food not sold because of:

    • Appearance
    • Age
    • Freshness
    • Grade
    • Size
    • Surplus

    Edible food includes but is not limited to:

    •  Prepared foods
    •  Packaged foods
    •  Produce

    For more information on safe surplus food donation and food safety, please visit:

    Who are Commercial Edible Food Generators?

    Tier One businesses shall comply with edible food donation and recovery requirements commencing January 1, 2022.  Tier Two businesses shall comply with edible food donation and recovery requirements commencing January 1, 2024.  Mandated food generators (Tier One and Tier Two) are listed below:

    Tier 1 effective 01

    sb pic 4

    Who are Food Recovery Organizations?

    A food recovery organization means an entity that collects edible food and distributes that edible food to the public for food recovery either directly or through other entities including, but not limited to: a food bank or a nonprofit charitable organization.

    If your business fits into the mandated Tier 1 or Tier 2 classification, please set up a food recovery agreement with one of the following organizations:


    Other organizations can be found here: California Food Bank Locator Tool

    CalRecycle has developed an example of the type of contract or agreement that can be used between food generators and recovery organizations at this link: Model Food Recovery Agreement.

    Requirements for Commercial Edible Food Generators (14 CCR Section 18991.4. Recordkeeping Requirements For Commercial Edible Food Generators)

    Keep a record that includes the following:

    (1) A list of each food recovery service or organization that collects or receives its edible food pursuant to a contract or written agreement established under Section 18991.3(b).

    (2) A copy of contracts or written agreements between the commercial edible food generator and a food recovery service or organization.

    (3) A record of the following for each food recovery organization or service that the commercial edible food generator has a contract or written agreement with pursuant to Section 18991.3(b):

    • The name, address and contact information of the service or organization.
    • The types of food that will be collected by or self-hauled to the service or organization.
    • The established frequency that food will be collected or self-hauled.
    • The quantity of food collected or self-hauled to a service or organization for food recovery. The quantity shall be measured in pounds recovered per month.

    Complete a Food Recovery Report by May 1st of each calendar year for food recovery activities in the previous calendar year, including pounds of food recovered from Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses and organizations. Email report to:

    Procurement of Organic Products

    Beginning January 1, 2022, the City must annually procure a certain quantity of recovered organic waste products. Jurisdictions can fulfill their target by procuring any combination of eligible products such as compost, mulch, and renewable energy.

    Education and Outreach

    SB 1383 regulations requires the City to conduct specific outreach to residents, schools, businesses, and edible food generators on an annual basis. Letters, flyers, handouts, and updates to the City website will be conducted annually.

    Compliance and Enforcement

    SB 1383 regulations require the adoption and enforcement of various ordinances. Click HERE to view the City of Big Bear Lake’s Ordinance No. 2022-504, which amends Chapter 8.64 of the Big Bear Lake Municipal Code Relating to Solid Waste Management, Collection, of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials, and Edible Food Recovery.

    Additional Resources

    More information for Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators is available on CalRecycle's website at:

    More information for food recovery organizations is available on CalRecycle’s website here:

    Visit CalRecycle for more SB 1383 information.

    Clean Bear Sites

    As of December 1, 2022 the Clean Bear Sites (41970 Garstin Drive and the Site directly across City Hall at 39690 Big Bear Blvd) are now checking for proof of eligibility to dump trash at the Sites.

    Users of the Clean Bear Sites will be asked to provide proof of eligibility by:

    • Photo ID
    • Property Document (Mortgage Statement, Lease, Property Tax Bill)
    • Utility Bill
    • Car Registration
    • For visitors, a rental contract or other document associated with a City of Big Bear Lake residential property address

    Clear Bear Site(s) User Guide and additional information.


    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Big Bear Disposal, Inc. is committed to protecting the pristine environment of the Big Bear Valley. Everyone can help Big Bear Lake reach the goal of being a "zero waste" community! Big Bear Disposal, Inc. offers three easy ways to recycle!


    Recycling Tips - Reduce and Reuse

    Use the following tips to reduce your trash, save money, and help to preserve our valuable resources.

    • Avoid disposable items whenever possible.
    • Choose durable products that can be used over and over.
    • Use the blank side of scrap paper for notes before recycling them.
    • Save plastic produce bags and paper or plastic grocery bags for reuse.
    • Switch to reusable cloth and string bags when you shop.
    • Buy in bulk whenever possible and bring your own bag or container when possible.
    • Pack lunches in reusable containers to reduce waste and save money.
    • Choose products with minimal packaging that can be recycled easily.
    • Use a reusable mug or cup for beverages, to avoid using disposable cups.
    • Repair broken or damaged items rather than replacing them.
    • Purchase quality used items such as furniture, sports equipment, toys and books at second-hand stores, garage sales or through classified ads.
    • Compost leaves and grass clippings in a home compost pile, and kitchen scraps in a worm bin.  Use the compost to improve your garden and feed house plants.
    • Buy recycled-content products whenever possible.

    By supporting the efforts to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, we are able to maintain that commitment to our community.  Learn more about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle at:

    For questions about what is trash and what can be recycled: What Do I Do With It?
    For information about where to recycle: Where can I recycle in Big Bear Lake?



    Big Bear Disposal Main Office
    Phone: (909) 866-3942
    Website: Big Bear Disposal
    41974 Garstin Drive
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 
    Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Recycling/Buy-Back Center
    41970 Garstin Drive
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    Tues/Wed/Fri: 8a.m. - 4:30p.m.              
    (closed 11:30 - 12:00 for lunch all days)           
    Clean Bear Site #1
    41970 Garstin Rd.
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    Open Daily; 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Clean Bear Site #2
    39690 Big Bear Blvd.
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    Open Daily; 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

    Get In Touch

    39707 Big Bear Blvd.
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    P.O. Box 10000
    Mon.– Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
    (909) 866-5831

    Staff Login