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CalRecycle Extends Comment Period on Revised Draft SB 1383 Regulations for Organic Waste Diversion Regulations

Cities Should Plan to Review and Comment by July 17

July 8, 2019
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) released revised draft regulations of the SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants regulations on June 19.
The originally scheduled 15-day formal public comment period was extended from the July 3 deadline to July 17 after the League, in coalition with other solid waste interest groups, submitted a letter to CalRecycle requesting an extension. As detailed below, the League is requesting that cities submit letters to CalRecycle on the impact that these regulations will have on their city.    
SB 1383 (Lara, 2016) establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. CalRecycle is charged with implementing this bill to achieve the organic waste disposal reduction targets and establishes an additional target that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025.
The League will be submitting comments to CalRecycle highlighting key issues of the upmost importance to cities. Below are our main concerns with the revised draft:
  • Infrastructure Capacity: California cities lack sufficient infrastructure capacity to be able to meet the needs for new organic waste processing. The League is concerned that the timelines detailed in these regulations will not be long enough to develop the new facilities that will be required to reach compliance. 
  • Enforcement: As drafted, these regulations will make it difficult for cities to prove that they have taken all of the steps required to reach compliance. For example, it could be difficult for cities to show they do not have sufficient infrastructure before CalRecycle takes enforcement actions.
  • Funding: Many local governments will face challenges in implementing new organic waste diversion programs due to a lack of sufficient state and local funding. This will prove problematic in not only increasing infrastructure capacity but also updating bins and labels, and providing education and outreach. 
  • Penalties: These regulations will impose daily fines on jurisdictions that, for certain violations, could cost up to $10,000 per day for not being in compliance. Designing penalties before implementing the program and prior to recognizing the sticking points and needs of generators is premature.
  • Procurement: Requires local governments to procure specified amounts of recovered organic waste products set by CalRecycle. This procurement requirement will result in substantial additional costs to local governments as they must buy these materials. 
How to Submit Comments
The League is encouraging cities to submit comments to CalRecycle by 1pm by July 17. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to: SLCP.Organics@calrecycle.ca.gov.
Or written comments may also be submitted to: 
Gwen Huff
Materials Management and Local Assistance Division
California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
P.O. Box 4025
Sacramento, CA 95812
If your city is submitting comments, please also send a copy to Cityletters@cacities.org so the League has record.
For more detailed information, the text of the revised regulation is posted on CalRecycle’s website.
Next Steps
Cities are encouraged to submit comments to CalRecycle on these new draft regulations. After July 17, CalRecycle will review and consider the public comments that they receive. After this review, they will submit the final regulations to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.

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