San Diego has approved several new recycling mandates that establish requirements for organic waste disposal and close a loophole that has exempted many businesses and apartment complexes from any kind of recycling. City officials say the new mandates move the city closer to its goal of producing zero waste by 2040, while also laying the groundwork for complying with California’s new crackdown on organic waste that produces methane gas.

The methane produced by organic materials in landfills produces 80 times more greenhouse gas emissions than carbon dioxide, state officials say. The new mandates, which are amendments to San Diego’s recycling ordinance adopted in 2007, will force changes in recycling procedures at businesses, single-family homes, apartment buildings and condominium complexes.

The City Council unanimously approved the changes last Tuesday. Many businesses and multifamily properties will be forced to begin recycling for the first time. Those that have already had recycling programs must add yard waste and other organic materials, including green trimmings and food scraps.

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Author: David Garrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Image: The San Diego Union-Tribune