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New Methane Reduction Law Promotes Organics Recycling

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By signing SB 1383, on September 19, 2016, Governor Brown places California, once again, at the forefront of environmental progress. Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is proud to have been among those that encouraged the Governor to sign this important legislation. The new law provides the direction and incentive for diverting organic material from our landfills, where it would otherwise create significant short-lived climate pollutants.

Organic waste materials make up two-thirds of the state’s waste stream and when disposed of in landfills they generate methane, a short-lived climate pollutant that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide.

To achieve its methane emissions reduction goals, SB 1383 requires a 50% reduction in the statewide disposal of organic waste by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025, as compared with 2014 levels. The state’s implementation strategies include recovering 20% of edible food that is currently disposed to feed the more than 6 million food insecure Californians, as well as composting organic waste to create rich, natural soil amendments.

In the San Diego region alone, we estimate the potential impact of diverting organics to be enormous:  freeing up 700,000 tons/year of landfill space, creating new markets and jobs worth $2,000,000/year, saving local businesses $20M/year in disposal fees, avoiding 127,000 metric tons/year of greenhouse gases and contributing to healthier communities. Solana Center’s Less to Landfill program was developed to provide businesses, school districts, and jurisdictions with organics waste reduction and diversion strategies. We have been working with jurisdictions in the San Diego region for over 30 years to divert recyclable and compostable material from our landfills.

We believe that in 10 years, sorting organic material and hazardous waste from our trash will be as widespread as recycling plastics and glass are today.

This past January, Solana Center was honored to receive the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for our innovative food waste diversion programming. Diverting excess food from our landfills is a priority – for Solana Center, for our region, and for California. For information about our Less to Landfill program, contact me at (760) 436-7986 x713 or by email at Jessica Toth Executive Director Solana Center for Environmental Innovation References: #recycling #reducewaste