Some El Dorado Disposal customers have begun using yard and food waste buckets. Courtesy photo
Pilot programs through El Dorado Disposal have rolled out in some areas of Placerville and El Dorado County to support new legislation that aims to reduce organic waste from commercial and residential trash disposal customers. Full implementation is expected within two years.
Jeff England, district manager at El Dorado Disposal, spoke at the Nov. 9 Placerville City Council meeting, giving an update on the progress of Assembly Bill 1826 and Senate Bill 1382.
AB 1826 is a California mandate targeting commercial food waste. The bill has a measured phase-in process to allow the private sector to build infrastructure to comply. In October 2014 the bill was signed into law with a target date of implementation starting in April 2016. Local jurisdictions would report progress to Cal Recycle on development of an organic waste program and in 2018 CalRecycle conducted a formal review. In 2019 businesses that generated 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste were be required to arrange for organic waste services.
Earlier this year the threshold for commercial customers to be compliant with the program was lowered from 4 cubic yards to 2 cubic yards of trash. This means that many small businesses will be required to comply, according to England.
“Customers will be vetted and what we end up with is a list of businesses that are required to be compliant,” he said.
Other businesses will be exempt based on the type of trash they generate with some obvious exemptions still needing to be verified.
“C&H Auto Parts for example,” he said. “We can put them on the exempt list but we are expected by CalRecycle to go back and literally do a dumpster dive or have the driver take a picture of the inside of the bin to verify that there are no organics in there.”
There are currently 147 customers on the weekly commercial food waste route and that number continues to grow, according to England.
SB 1383, signed into law in September 2016, targets household food waste as a way to combat methane emissions in landfills. The bill has a target of a 75% reduction of organic waste disposal by 2025.
Ross Reaksecker, site manager at El Dorado Disposal, reported on the implementation of SB 1383 in El Dorado County.
“1383 is vast and has a lot of components,” he said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to the community we work and serve in.”
“We need to understand what our community needs here,” he continued.
A pilot program was launched Oct. 27 for customers in Cold Springs Road, Mallard Lane and Highway 49 areas, encompassing a route in Placerville and into unincorporated county territory. Customers were given in-home pails to transport organic waste to their green waste cart.
The pilot program will help El Dorado Disposal answer questions of how to implement the program such as whether a weekly or bi-weekly pick up would be needed and what equipment customers might require.
Some customers said they have been grateful for the organics pails while others said they do not need them as they compost themselves.
A survey is going out to all customers in the pilot program to help build data El Dorado Disposal can use to help shape the program.
Other areas of the county are targeted for future pilot programs.
Approximately 27 million tons of organic waste were disposed of in 2017 in California with roughly 18% of that or 6 million tons being residential food waste, according to CalRecycle.
AB 1383 regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2022, and enforcement is expected to begin. However, according to Reaksecker, many jurisdictions are behind in terms of CalRecycle’s expectations due to setbacks during the pandemic. El Dorado Disposal expects full implementation by July 1, 2022.
“As long as we show progress, programs and results, CalRecycle remains happy,” he said.
“Ultimately, what we will be rated on is the amount of diversion,” said England. “Which in short gets down to the amount of material going to landfill relative to population numbers.”
Another component of SB 1383 is the Edible Food Recovery Program, which aims at identifying edible food waste and diverting it to food-insecure households.
Reaksecker referenced a program already in the works with the county diverting edible food waste to local food pantries. The Mountain Democrat in June reported on the Surplus Food Program partnering CalRecycle, El Dorado County Waste Management and the Food Bank of El Dorado County.
”We believe there’s a lot of potential for teamwork in that program,” said Reaksecker.
California mandates that local jurisdictions have ordinances in place and enforced by 2024. Enforcement would require El Dorado Disposal to report offenders to county or city officials.
The draft ordinance adding organic waste disposal reduction to Title 7 of the Health and Sanitation Code was introduced later in the City Council’s agenda and passed unanimously to return to council Dec. 14 for a final vote.
Very good news!
sound like to go boxes for wild animals and dogs
More liberal B.S.
Wait until they tell you they need more tax money to hire trash monitors to review your garbage. It’s happening in SF and Seattle right now. SF has several million dollars being spent annually to review and test garbage contents for stuff that will easily compost in a landfill or anywhere. Make no mistake, this is just another revenue stream and tax hike with more government control. Wait until they start telling you what to eat, and telling you that you have no disposal alternatives for certain things. This is just more government overreach – all in the name of “the environment” as it were. Fools…
The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realise about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, flowing from point to point. If something dams that flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.
Your ignorance is scary. We all get it. In fact, I work for a company that promotes this stuff and understand it at a better level than most. What you don’t see is that it’s being used as a power and money grab – and will do little to nothing for the environment. It’s about MONEY AND POWER. And that’s why it’s legal legislation and not a voluntary movement.
Found the ecologically illiterate
Found the future dumpster diver and garbage can brown shirt.
Disdain for our local Waste Collection employees? Likening them to Nazi Brownshirts? Talk to your weekly EDC truck driver and see how quick they’ll dump a route of garbage in your driveway.
Another feel good piece of legislation initiated by someone who probably never had a job where they had to get their hands dirty. It will be yet another burden for restaurants and food related businesses. Take our Apple Hill ranches for a current example. Family comes and buys some fritters, an apple pie hot dogs and some drinks – they sit outside and eat some of it but there is still food left. They do the right thing and put that trash into the trash can provided – repeat this all day long….at the end of the day someone not only has to collect the trash but sift through it to ensure all the food waste is separated from the packaging, paper plates and so on….if non food items get in the food waste you get cited if food gets into the non food waste you get cited too….an army of trash police going around sifting through dumpsters to ensure your complying with the new rules. Buss boy/girl clears table from a busy restaurant….before clearing the plates they have to grub through the remaining food napkins, straws on the plate and put it in a separate trash can….nice job. There surely has to be a better way to deal with this at the end of the process rather than force people to pick through trash at the front end.
Only man is arrogant enough to believe they can change the planet,,but don’t worry if Iran, China and Russia have their way we will all die from nuclear war way before climate change..of course the people who believe in this crap,,attend a climate change summit in a private jet,,a 75 car motor cade,,,and drive to the lake in an electric car and leave trash and dog crap all over the place…but I guess if it makes you feel good that’s all that matters…
Just leave it….5 million years from now it will be the renewed oil for the future inhabitants of the earth….just need organic products, time and pressure and there you go…oil.