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Food Waste Diversion

Mandatory Organics Recycling Image

 

Local jurisdictions shall implement an organic waste recycling program on and after January 1, 2016 to divert organic waste generated by businesses. If a jurisdiction has an organic waste recycling program in place that meets CalRecycle's requirements, it is not required to implement a new or expanded organic waste recycling program. Currently, the LASAN Curbside Green WAste Program ONLY accepts fruits and vegetables from the garden in the green bin. Please do NOT place food waste and food scraps in the green bin.

 

  

IMPLEMENTATION DATES AND THRESHOLDS 

 

The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including "multi-family residential dwellings that consist of five or more units," over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that will increase the scope of affected businesses, if waste reduction targets are not met. The implementation schedule is as follows:

 

  • January 1, 2016: Local jurisdictions shall have an organic waste recycling program in place. Jurisdictions shall conduct outreach, education to inform businesses how to recycle organic waste in the jurisdiction, and monitoring to identify those not recycling and inform them of the law and how to recycle organic waste.
  • April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate four cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • August 1, 2017 and ongoing: Jurisdictions shall provide information about their organic waste recycling program implementation in the annual report submitted to CalRecycle.
  • Fall 2018: After receipt of the 2016 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2017, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of those jurisdictions that are on a two-year review cycle.
  • January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • Fall 2020: After receipt of the 2019 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2020, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of all jurisdictions.
  • Summer/Fall 2021: If CalRecycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduced by 50 percent of the level of disposal during 2014, the organic recycling requirements on businesses will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week. Additionally certain exemptions, previously discussed, may no longer be available if this target is not met.

*Note: Multi-family dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program.

 

A jurisdiction's organic waste recycling program targeted to commercial organic waste generators may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following key elements: 

 

  • Implementing a mandatory commercial organic waste recycling policy or ordinance.
  • Enforcement provisions, including a structure for fines and penalties. 
  • Requiring a mandatory organic recycling program through a franchise contract or agreement.
  • A requirement that organic waste go through a source separated or mixed processing system that diverts organic waste from disposal.
  • Certification requirements for self-haulers.
  • Charging and collecting a fee from organic waste generators to recover the jurisdictions' cost of complying with the law.
  • Implementation or enforcement of organic waste recycling requirements that are more stringent or comprehensive than the minimum requirements outlined here.

 

The law also requires that each jurisdiction’s program contain certain common elements. These requirements are applicable whether or not the jurisdiction meets its 50 percent per capita disposal target:

 

  • Identifying the businesses that meet the applicable thresholds.
  • Conducting annual education and outreach to inform businesses about the law and how to recycle organics in the jurisdiction. Jurisdictions can build on their education, outreach and monitoring activities for Mandatory Commercial Recycling. For example, the hauler may be responsible for identifying those not recycling organics and the jurisdiction may contact those not recycling organics via a letter, phone call, and/or site visit.

Note: The authority of a local governmental agency to adopt, implement, or enforce a local organic waste recycling requirement, or impose a condition upon a self-hauler, that is more stringent or comprehensive than the requirements of this law is not limited.

 

Additionally, the following are not modified, limited, or abrogated in any manner by this law:

 

  • A franchise granted or extended by a city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency.
  • A contract, license, or permit to collect solid waste previously granted or extended by a city, county, city or county, or other local governmental agency.
  • The existing right of a business to sell or donate its recyclable organic waste materials.
  • The authority of a local jurisdiction with respect to land use, zoning, or facility siting decisions by or within that local jurisdiction.

Exemptions: On a case-by-case basis, a jurisdiction may exempt individual businesses from the organic waste recycling requirements. Jurisdictions must include their rationale for allowing exemptions in the electronic annual report (EAR) they submit to CalRecycle.

 

Certain exemptions (denoted below with an asterisk) will not be allowed on and after January 1, 2020, if CalRecycle determines that statewide disposal of organic waste has not been reduced to 50 percent of the level of disposal during the 2014 calendar year. Exemptions may include, but are not limited to the following:

 

  • Lack of sufficient space in multi-family complexes or businesses to provide addition organic material recycling bins.
  • The current implementation by a business of actions that result in the recycling of a significant portion of its organic waste.
  • The business or group of businesses does not generate at least one-half of a cubic yard of organic waste per week.
  • Limited-term exemptions for extraordinary and unforeseen events.
  • The business group of businesses does not generate at least one cubic yard of organic waste per week (if the local jurisdiction provides CalRecycle with information that explains the need for this higher exemption).