FIND Food Bank will help Rancho Mirage and its businesses meet state mandates for organic waste reduction through a new $7,500 agreement approved by the City Council. Senate Bill 1383 was signed into law in September 2016, requiring the reduction of organic waste disposal by 50% by January 2020 and by 75% by 2025. The law also requires a 20% increase in edible food recovery by 2025. It places many requirements on jurisdictions to reach those goals including establishing an edible food recovery program to include documentation, contracts between edible food generators and recovery organizations, coordination, data collection and reporting, among other items, with fines up to $10,000 per day for non-compliance, said Jessica Pulliam, senior management analyst for the city.

The city is also required to ensure Tier 1 generators which includes grocery stores over 10,000 square feet, wholesale vendors and food distributors donate edible food, have contracts in place with the non-profits to receive recovered edible food and ensure businesses are keeping records for inspection. Starting this year, the city will be required to ensure compliance with inspection of records to include review of contracts and data to ensure there is proper reporting by the Tier 1 businesses as well as hotels and restaurants in Tier 2, Pulliam said.

Under the agreement, FIND will provide services to include education outreach, along with the tracking, collection and documentation required under SB 1383, helping the city and the businesses to meet their requirements “expediently and seamlessly, reducing the risk of unnecessary fines,” she said.

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Author: Shelley Barkas, Palm Springs Desert Sun
Image: Vickie Connor, Palm Springs Desert Sun