CONCORD, CA (July 14, 2022) — California is experiencing the very real effects of a climate crisis: hotter summers with world record-breaking temperatures, even more devastating fire seasons, more extreme droughts and rising sea levels that erode our coastlines.
Scientists tell us that greenhouse gasses released by human activities cause climate change. One of the biggest contributing factors is methane emissions, a “climate super-pollutant” that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Organic waste such as food scraps, yard trimmings, paper and cardboard make up most of the landfill material in California. When dumped into the landfill, this material releases methane – resulting in a disastrous effect on our environment.
To take a significant step toward combatting climate change, the state Legislature has been working for several years to implement organics recycling laws that will be phased in over the next two years, with the goal of achieving a 75% reduction in the statewide disposal of organic waste.
Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery (MDRR) and the city of Concord continue to partner on the implementation of two specific state laws that will ultimately make it mandatory for every resident and business to recycle their organic waste.
Assembly Bill 1826 is a state law that went into effect in 2016, requiring nearly all businesses and multi-family residential dwellings to recycle organic waste.
Senate Bill 1383 is the “short-lived climate pollutants” bill that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, making it mandatory for every resident and business in California to recycle organics. This means you’ll be required to subscribe to organics service and sort out your food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings from the trash while continuing to participate in recycling paper, cardboard and other recyclables.
Concord has adopted the statewide mandates through a revision to our local municipal code required by CalRecycle, the state department overseeing implementation.
MDRR and the city of Concord are working together to help businesses comply with the new law and to build the capacity to accept residential organics waste in the near future. This means making organics recycling containers available for businesses and multi-family residences and also developing a regular pick-up schedule to coincide with the collection of green waste.
Residents will be expected to place their food scraps into their existing green organics cart, but only after MDRR lets them know they are ready to accept the food scraps, which is expected to occur within the next 18 months.
This all may seem confusing, but I want to assure you that the city of Concord is working closely with MDRR to make sure our businesses and residents are supported during this transition. In addition to mailing informational materials and developing resources on the MDRR website, the city has been sending information to all affected businesses, and we will continue to communicate to our residents and business owners about these new requirements.
MDRR has designated diversion specialists who can help businesses figure out which service levels will be most cost-effective and appropriate for their business or multi-family property. You can learn more at www.mdrr.com/sb1383.
Mandatory recycling of organic waste is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals, and it is a worthy endeavor. Protecting our planet from future destruction will require a big collective effort. Let’s all do our part.
Email questions and comments to the mayor at Dominic.Aliano@cityofconcord.org