The following notification about the requirements of Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014 (Chesbro, AB 1826) was sent to all listed State Agency contacts including Recycling Coordinators, Supervisors, and Directors in August 2015.
New Law Affects State Agencies that Generate Organic Materials
California has a statewide goal to divert 75 percent of waste from the landfill by 2020. What will be needed to get to 75 percent? We need to divert more of those materials that are still going to the landfill. Organic waste makes up approximately one third of the 35 million tons of waste that is currently going to the landfill. To aid in meeting the statewide 75 percent goal, Assembly Bill 1826 was passed in September 2014 requiring businesses, including state agencies, which generate certain amounts of organic waste per week to have organic waste recycling programs on or after April 1, 2016.
What does this mean for State agencies? Under the law, State agencies are defined as a business and, therefore, must abide by requirements of the new law. The law requires that state agencies arrange for recycling services for the following types of organic material:
- Food waste
- Green waste
- Landscape and pruning waste
- Nonhazardous wood waste
- Food-soiled paper
This new law requires that each state agency recycle organic material on or by the following dates based on amount of materials generated:
- 8 or more cubic yards of organic material per week–April 1, 2016
- 4 or more cubic yards of organic material per week–January 1, 2017
- 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week–January 1, 2019
- 2 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week, if statewide disposal of organic waste is not decreased by half–January 1, 2020
State Agencies can comply with the new requirements by taking one or any combination of the following actions:
- Source-separate organic waste from other waste and subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that specifically includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
- Recycle organic waste onsite, or self-haul for organics recycling.
- Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that includes mixed-waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.
- Sell or donate the generated organic waste.
- Recycle the material on site, such as composting, anaerobic digestion, vermicomposting.
Please refer to Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (MORe) FAQs under “Business” to answer additional questions on how an agency qualifies as a business. Listed below are some steps to take:
- Review the background and overview to Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
- Check with your CalRecycle LAMD representative to discover what organics recycling programs are or will be available in your jurisdiction or area.
- Implement additional programs, when possible or required. Each type of organics recycling program may not be required for your agency and will depend on the jurisdiction or area.
- Do not forget to report on programs in the annual State Agency Waste Management Report due May 1 each year.