Food Waste Recycling Program Still Being Re-Tooled By The City

Food Waste

Despite their best efforts, the city of San Diego has been looking to equip residents with a new recycling stream and it hasn’t quite been able to come around full circle. This is all projected to help the state of California to eradicate the harmful greenhouse gases. In turn, the state has told local governments to give programs the ability to cut down food waste in landfills. There’s a huge unfunded mandate for the local governments to pick up. All because of the California League of Cities, being the local government advocacy group to send up $180 million in the state budget. Specifically to support cities that struggle to show food waste recycling programs. Waste collection rates go up 25% in order to pay for all the equipment and staff to manage the requirements of organics recycling law, also known as the SB 1383.

There’s a bit of science driving the laws.

To make it well-known, there’s science in the politics occurring here. Organic matter like grass or food waste comprises about 39% of the thrown away matter and an overall landfill. However, when you have food that wastes away, it makes for a lot of methane. That of which tends to leak straight from the San Diego landfills. Methane is seen as a short-time climate pollutant, hanging around in the atmosphere. This all would last less time than carbon dioxide. Scientists are very certain that slicing methane emissions are also important in the war against heat waves among other natural disasters.

Smaller cities are starting a new waste collection stream. However, there’s still much to be done in order to execute the mandate properly. The waste collection itself is covered entirely by Republic Services. Such a company used the funds to buy additional equipment that is crucial to expand organic waste collection. This is evident from the new composting facilities created in towns like Chula Vista.

The city hauls plenty of waste for single-family homes while designating free refuse collections for some apartment properties. All of this is under a 1919 law titled “the People’s Ordinance.” Several residences and businesses aren’t quite as easily covered by the People’s Ordinance contract with private hauling companies, such as EDCO.

Currently, People’s Ordinance remains in effect, as free trash pickup costs the city about $72 million per year, according to the Independent Budget Analyst Office. While the law remains, the city will in turn absorb the costs of new food waste recycling requirements set by SB 1383.

Of course, there’s plenty more that needs to be done. All residents need an organics waste bin as well as food waste kitchen pails to expand weekly yard waste and organics collection services to eligible households. To handle all the new waste, a $50 million organics recycling facility is about to be built at the Miramar landfill.

The city in turn has signed a $51 million contract for 43 waste collection trucks have happened back in August 2021. There are further plans to order even another 55 trucks within the future under the same contract. Those had been scheduled for delivery earlier than when they’ll arrive, which will be more likely in the winter. New green kitchen pails are coming for countertops and waste carts alike.

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