AB-1826 is here and compliance is mandatory; what’s your plan?

Starting as of January 2016, any business that generates 8 cubic yards or more of organic waste is required to have a recycling program in place. And next year, the mandate goes to 4 cubic yards.

The full schedule of implementation is listed below. Notice how the mandate focuses only on generators of (8) cubic yards of organic waste generated per week in the beginning years but towards the end of the schedule of implementation in January 2019, the mandate focuses on anyone who generates (4) cubic yards of solid waste per week so this is going to be quite the undertaking by the state of CA to accomplish these waste diversion goals.

The mandate lists businesses as being responsible for their organic waste diversion but what exactly does that mean to CA businesses who are already taxed to death in one of the most unfriendly small business states there is in the U.S. (which is why so many moved to TX)

The “waste logistics” in most CA municipalities is dictated by a franchised waste hauling contract that requires businesses and residents to use that franchised haulers waste services if they are located within those boundaries of said contract. The city negotiates the hauling services and rates not businesses so as is often the case, the hauling rates can get extremely expensive and now with the new food waste mandates in place it’s getting even crazier.

For example: Currently a 3 cubic yard bin serviced 6 days per week in the City of Riverside, CA costs $504.14 per month.

In the Oakland/SF Bay area where it’s been illegal to dispose of organic/food waste in landfill for over 5 years; the cost for that same level of service is $2800.00 per month. As experience has shown us, other areas in CA are now headed for those same increases over the next 5 years.

What can business do?  The goal of EDS is to help our clients design waste and recycling programs that work in sync with their operational programs. Synergy at it’s finest level. We believe in reducing organic waste at the point of generation and utilizing every viable option to use the output materials to replace purchased organic goods like compost, fertilizers or water reduction additives. We teach our clients and their staff how to keep those materials from ever reaching the trash bin so there is no increased rates but instead increased revenues. The only reduction is in the carbon footprint you burn handling your trash and for businesses that can lead to carbon credits which makes our programs both fiscally and environmentally friendly for businesses in CA when they need this kind of help the most.

Businesses that generate food waste are going to basically be held captive to extreme increases in waste hauling rates unless they explore other options to keep that waste from ever reaching the trash bin and it’s irresponsible for jurisdictions and municipalities to not sponsor grants and more options for their businesses to off-set these costs. So many CA businesses are barely making it as it is. Many of those are very small mom & pop style food establishments that have been part of communities for years and may be forced to close their doors just because they cannot afford to be compliant and pay a high dollar trash bill. And that’s just sad at this day and age.

Landfills in California are closing, how will you avoid escalating long-haul charges?

Many landfills in CA are at capacity and looking at closing down over the next 5 years. This has set off an alarm for many municipalities because no one wants a new landfill and the father away the next available landfill the farther they have to drive and incur long haul charges not to mention the intense increase in carbon footprint on the State of CA.

To help off-set this, CARecycle has a plan to open 100 compost facilities over the next year (which I think they said last year and it’s still no where near that).

EDS has a solution for this problem that will help cities reduce the volume of their organic waste by 90% within their own MRFs or Xfer Stations in an overnight process that requires no water hook ups. This is NOT anaerobic digestion.

EDS looks at municipal MRFs & Xfer Stations in a sort of “pre-commissioning” process. Considering all the various waste & recycling streams unique to the city. Then we design a solution based program that focuses on reducing volumes 1st, re-using 2nd to off-set internal costs like compost, fertilizers or water conservation materials like bio-char and 3rd for resale to market creating a closed loop program design that reduces operational costs and creates new revenues that otherwise would go unfounded.

CA Organics Recycling Mandate

Implementation Schedule and Thresholds:

The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units,* over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that will increase the scope of affected businesses, if waste reduction targets are not met. The implementation schedule is as follows:

  • January 1, 2016: Local jurisdictions must have an organic waste recycling program in place. Jurisdictions must conduct outreach, education to inform businesses how to recycle organic waste in the jurisdiction, and monitoring to identify those not recycling and inform them of the law and how to recycle organic waste. (Time to provide programs for these services to businesses in CA)
  • April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week must arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate four cubic yards of organic waste per week must arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • August 1, 2017 and ongoing: Jurisdictions must provide information about their organic waste recycling program implementation in the annual report submitted to CalRecycle. (Thus counties & cities will be asking businesses for these mat’l. data reports. We can provide this reporting service).
  • Fall 2018: After receipt of the 2016 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2017, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of those jurisdictions that are on a two-year review cycle. (We can provide this service for our customers)
  • January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week must arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • Fall 2020: After receipt of the 2019 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2020, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of all jurisdictions.
  • Summer/Fall 2021: If CalRecycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduced by 50 percent of the level of disposal during 2014, the organic recycling requirements on businesses will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week. Additionally certain exemptions, previously discussed, may no longer be available if this target is not met.