In the next few years, California cities, counties and waste haulers will be facing a challenge unmatched since the beginning of mandatory recycling. As part of the state’s efforts to combat climate change, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383 in 2016, establishing targets for reducing the landfilling of organic waste by 50 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025. The law grants CalRecycle the regulatory authority required to achieve the organic waste disposal reduction targets. CalRecycle has been working to develop the regulations to implement the new law. There have been numerous meetings and workshops to fine-tune the regulations to try to adapt to the varied needs of California’s communities.
Some of the law’s requirements have already begun to take effect, including a rule that businesses which generate large amounts of organic waste, such as grocery stores and large restaurants, must separate out their organic waste for separate collection and processing. These rules will continue to ramp up to include more and smaller businesses.
Among the proposed rules are requirements that food waste collection be rolled out not just to businesses, but to single-family homes around the state. The proposal includes requirements for robust inspection and enforcement programs, and CalRecycle acknowledges that this will require significant new investment and staffing from local communities and haulers.
CalRecycle is requesting comments on the proposed regulations by March 4. There will be a meeting on March 12 at CalEPA in Sacramento for those able to attend.