A state oversight panel is recommending that California pause implementation of Senate Bill 1383, which requires cities and counties to offer organic waste recycling, because it is riddled with problems and falling short of its goals, according to a draft report. The law set benchmarks for reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025, using 2014 as a baseline. Instead, only about half of local governments are participating in the program and the amount of organic waste in landfills has actually increased in recent years, the Little Hoover Commission said in the draft.

“Despite the importance of diverting organic waste, the state not only missed its 2020 target but sent a million tons of organic waste above the 2014 baseline to landfills,” the report states. “To this point, there has been insufficient progress to make the 2025 goal realistic.” SB 1383 passed and was signed into law in 2016 to reduce methane emissions, which have been linked to poor air quality, public health issues, and climate change. It didn’t fully take effect until January 2022, but the commission found only about half of California’s 540 local jurisdictions were prepared by then, despite the threat of $10,000 per day fines.

For their part, homeowners are asked to place food scraps, yard clippings, and other organic materials into bins that are collected along with regular trash and recycling, assuming their government offers the service. The material is then converted into products that can be used as compost or fuel. Among the many hurdles to SB 1383’s success are cost and infrastructure, the report says.

To read the full story, visit https://ktla.com/news/local-news/is-californias-organic-waste-recycling-program-failing/.
Author: Marc Sternfield, KTLA 5