On November 16, 2021, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion that adopted internal County policies, one of which is for Managing Organic Waste.
The Organic Waste Policy establishes implementation requirements for County departments to properly manage organic waste to maximize organic waste diversion, procure organic waste products, and achieve compliance with Senate Bill (SB) 1383 requirements. SB 1383 builds on the initial statewide organic waste recycling law (Assembly Bill (AB) 1826, 2014) and expands the scope of organic waste to be diverted from landfill disposal.
When organic waste such as food and yard debris is buried in a landfill and decomposes, it releases methane gas, which has about 85 times more warming power than carbon dioxide. This warming of the atmosphere causes extreme changes in the weather, such as large storms and more frequent or larger wildfires. When we collect organic waste separately from trash, we keep it out of the landfill and can process it to create useful products, such as compost, renewable electricity and transportation fuel.
County departments can continue to demonstrate leadership in waste management, and include diversion of organic waste in addition to other recyclables such as paper and metal into their overall solid waste management programs. To optimize materials management in a cost effective manner in compliance with State mandates and County directives, facilities are advised to conduct annual checks and contact their waste haulers and recyclers when service levels can be reduced or suspended due to reduced onsite staffing and operations.
If organic waste recycling services is not available with your current waste hauler, additional options for obtaining organic waste recycling are as follows:
- Contact Internal Services Department to setup services with the area waste hauler for your facility (waste hauler map)
- Contact any hauler on the list of non-exclusive commercial franchise haulers to obtain services for organic waste recycling.
Assembly Bill 827 amended the Mandatory Commercial Recycling (MCR) and Mandatory Organics Recycling laws. Effective July 1, 2020, businesses, including County facilities, that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste each week and have food that is consumed onsite, must provide recycling containers to collect recyclables and food waste from products purchased for onsite consumption. These containers must be placed adjacent to trash containers and be visible, easily accessible, and clearly marked.
SB 1383 (2016) builds on AB 1826 (2014), which requires as of December 31, 2020, businesses, including government facilities, that generate two or more cubic yards of solid waste each week to arrange for organic waste recycling services.
As of January 1, 2022, SB 1383 regulations are in effect, which includes food recovery and procurement of organic waste products in addition to organic waste diversion.