California law as amended by SB 1383, which becomes effective on January 1, 2022, requires that cities adopt organic waste disposal and procurement regulations. This requirement is meant to help achieve the state’s climate goals and the 75 percent organic waste diversion goal by 2025 and into the future. Complying with SB 1383 will require, in most instances, an amendment to a city’s internal procurement rules and an amendment to the waste disposal and hauling regulations. In addition, cities should work with their waste collection contractors to amend their franchise agreements, as necessary. With 2022 rapidly approaching, cities should not wait to initiate these processes. The timeline calls for completing the second reading and adoption of any ordinance that would install these regulations before the end of November.
New Procurement Requirements Increase Use of Recycled Organics Products
To drive market demand for products made of recycled organic materials, as of January 1, 2022, each jurisdiction shall be responsible for the purchase of a certain quantity of finished product such as compost, mulch, renewable natural gas, and/or electricity from biomass and recycled-content paper. The annual procurement requirement set in the SB 1383 regulation is 0.08 tons of organic waste per resident. Each year, CalRecycle will provide notice to cities of their Annual Recovered Organic Waste Product Procurement Target by posting such information on the CalRecycle website and providing written notice directly to the cities. Cities should amend their purchasing policies to mandate that all procurements on behalf of the city include these types of products whenever possible. Compliance can be achieved by any combination of the listed categories. City Departments that make purchases will be required to purchase and keep purchase records for organic discard products.
Organic Waste Recycling and Disposal Regulations
Under AB 1826, as of April 1, 2016, State Law required businesses to recycle their organic waste depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. Organic waste is defined as food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. As there was no enforcement mechanism in AB 1826 and due to the increased costs imposed by this law on businesses, despite the rigorous education and outreach, a large majority of businesses remained out of compliance.
To address this statewide issue, California passed SB 1383, which includes fines and penalties on both the businesses and the cities (should they not adopt and enforce the new regulations). SB 1383 places several requirements on the cities. These include:
- Cities must ensure organic waste collection service, including food waste, for all residential, commercial and multi-family properties.
- Cities must conduct outreach and education to all affected parties.
- Cities must establish an edible food recovery program that retains edible food from the waste stream and must ensure commercial edible food generators have access to food recovery services.
- Cities must also inspect and enforce compliance and maintain accurate and timely records of SB 1383 compliance. The legislation requires that local governments begin punitive enforcement effective January 1, 2024. As of that date, the cities must take action against non-compliant commercial entities or face daily fines of up to $10,000 imposed by the State of California.
More details on all of these mandated programs under SB 1383 can be obtained through the CalRecycle website, including a 55-page model ordinance. The incorporation of these new rules into existing municipal codes should be initiated as soon as possible, as the process is time-consuming.
OMLO will continue to monitor these developments carefully. This article is for informational purposes only and only provides an overview of specific developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation. For actual legal advice and specifics pertaining to your governmental entity, please contact your OMLO attorney for assistance.