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Cities, counties and special districts will soon be subject to new regulatory requirements under SB 1383 aimed at reducing organics waste disposal. These requirements represent ambitious waste reduction targets, but they do not have to place heavy burdens on agency resources. By understanding the statute, implementing the right strategy and managing waste hauling contractors, government can achieve compliance without spending a lot of time and money.

Background: Before SB 1383, AB 1826 and Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

AB 1826, signed by Governor Brown in 2014, placed requirements on businesses to recycle their organic waste. The law also mandated that local jurisdictions across the state implement organic waste recycling programs to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings.

AB 1826 was phased in incrementally with full implementation realized in 2019. However, to date, the original goal of a 50% statewide reduction of organic waste has not been met. As a result, CalRecycle reduced the threshold to now require businesses which generate two cubic yards or more per week of commercial solid waste to arrange for organic waste recycling to increase the statewide disposal of organic waste.

SB 138 Requirements for Cities, Counties and Special Districts

In a statewide effort to curb short-lived climate pollutants like greenhouse gases from landfills, Governor Brown signed SB 1383 in 2016 establishing methane emissions reduction targets in various sectors of California’s economy. The law establishes targets to achieve a statewide 50 percent in organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025 (measured against 2014 levels). Further, it establishes a target that at least 20 percent of disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025.

Under SB 1383, CalRecycle is granted the necessary regulatory authority to achieve these disposal reduction targets. CalRecycle, in consultation with the Air Resources Board, will analyze the progress that the waste sector, state government, and local governments have made in meeting the organic waste reduction targets.

If determined that significant progress has not been made in meeting the targets, CalRecycle may include incentives or additional requirements in the regulations to facilitate progress. The Department may also recommend target revisions to the Legislature.Ultimately, by 2025, the state must reduce organic waste disposal by more than 20 million tons annually and increase recovery of currently disposed edible food by 20 percent. Enforcement of incremental reduction targets begins in January 2022. Local agencies may be required to impose penalties for noncompliance on waste generators within their jurisdiction.

Achieving Compliance with SB 1383 at Reduced Costs

With a long and proven track record in public sector waste services, ProcureAmerica’s Waste & Recycling Division is well-positioned to help agencies mitigate rising cost associated with SB1383 while maintaining statutory fulfillment.

“When new waste related regulations hit the streets, there is a tendency to address the issue with dollars rather than strategy,” said ProcureAmerica CEO Fred Armendariz. “This trend is largely created and supported by hauling community. Where the haulers may see more revenue opportunity with a never ‘waste’ a crisis mentality, we see the need to review, strategize, execute, and audit! Our public sector clients have significant budget challenges, and it’s our job to help them navigate through compliance while maintaining cost control.”

ProcureAmerica supports government agencies through a five-step step review process that not only manages costs and compliance, but in 95% of the time also reduces hauling expenses:

  • Compliance evaluation
  • Implementation of programs to ensure fulfillment with legislative thresholds
  • Help with incumbent vendor compliance
  • Ensure correct reporting
  • Option of a third-party vendor to manage/haul organics

With the right strategy and oversight, these new waste regulations can both benefit the environment and help balance books.

​​About ProcureAmerica

ProcureAmerica (PA) is the nation’s leading business intelligence company supporting government, education, healthcare and private industry. Their services support and deliver operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, expense transparency and net cost reduction. PA has industry expertise in six specific expense categories: Utilities, Waste & Recycling, Telecommunications, Print Management, Technology Optimization, and Treasury.