California Legislation

AB 1594 (Williams) Solid Waste: Recycling

This bill, commencing January 1, 2020, would provide that the use of green material, not including materials left over from the composting process, as alternative daily cover does not constitute diversion through recycling and would be considered disposal for purposes of the act. The bill would authorize a jurisdiction that, as a result of these provisions, would not be able to meet certain diversion requirements to apply to the department for up to a 2-year delay from being subject to these provisions. The bill would require the application form, to be developed by the department, to require the applicant to include specified information. The bill would impose a state-mandated local program by imposing new duties upon local agencies with regard to the diversion of solid waste.

The District has supported this bill because it is aligned with the goals we hope to achieve through the Organics Recycling program. The program will keep the District’s organic waste out of the landfill and help the District achieve 75 percent diversion from landfills. Existing law authorized green waste to be used as an alternative daily cover as well as exemptions from a statewide disposal fee collected by the Board of Equalization. This exemption, coupled with the recycling credit local governments receive toward their diversion goals, ends up encouraging the use of green materials for ADC instead of other more environmentally friendly uses.


AB 1826 (Chesbro) Solid Waste: Recycling

This bill places requirements on businesses, multi-family premises, and jurisdictions to divert organic waste from landfills. This bill would require a business, when arranging for gardening or landscaping services, to require the organic waste generated by those services to comply with the requirements of this act.

This bill would require each jurisdiction, on and after January 1, 2016, to implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste from the businesses subject to this act, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program by imposing new duties on local government agencies. The bill would require each jurisdiction to report to the department on its progress in implementing the organic waste recycling program, and the department would be required to review whether a jurisdiction is in compliance with this act.

The District has supported this bill because it is strongly aligned with the goals we hope to achieve through the Organics Recycling program. The program will keep the District’s organic waste out of the landfill and help the District achieve 75 percent diversion from landfills. Existing law authorized green waste to be used as an alternative daily cover as well as exemptions from a statewide disposal fee collected by the Board of Equalization. This exemption, coupled with the recycling credit local governments receive toward their diversion goals, ends up encouraging the use of green materials for ADC instead of other more environmentally friendly uses.


SB 270 (Padilla, de Leon, and Lara) Single Use Grocery Bags

This bill phases out single-use plastic grocery bags. Reusable, paper, and (in certain jurisdictions) compostable plastic bags can only be distributed with a minimum 10 cent charge. This includes standards and incentives for plastic bag manufacturers to transition to making reusable bags.

This bill seeks to reduce those costs by prohibiting single-use plastic grocery bags in supermarkets and drugstores starting July 1, 2015. By July 1, 2016, smaller grocery stores and convenience stores must also comply with the requirements. Other bags (paper, reusable, and in some jurisdictions, compostable) are allowed only with a ten cent minimum charge. Local ordinances adopted before September 1, 2014, which currently cover a third of the state's population, would be protected under a grandfathering clause.

The District has supported this bill because it encourages consumers to bring their own bags and to reduce litter. The District is committed to providing a sustainable environment that is free of solid waste pollution and continues to promote waste reduction practices.

SB 1383 (Lara) Short-lived climate pollutants: methane emissions: dairy and livestock: organic waste: landfills

Signed into law in 2016, SB 1383 establishes methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of the California economy, including solid waste. It established targets to achieve a 50% reduction in the level of statewide disposal of organic waste (from the 2014 level) by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025. Additionally, SB 1383 established a target to recover no less than 20% of currently disposed edible food for human consumption by 2025. 

Methane emissions that result from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. Although organic waste accounts for a significant portion of California's waste stream, it can be recycled, composted, or prevented altogether. By increasing food waste prevention, encouraging edible food recovery, and expanding composting and anaerobic digestion infrastructure throughout the state, the methane emissions from California's landfills can be reduced.

As demonstrated by the launch of the Organics Recycling Program, the District is committed to diverting organic waste from landfills and utilizing the latest technology to convert organic waste into compost and renewable natural gas.