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Are commercial organics diversion mandates working in California?

August 28, 2019


May 4-7, 2019

Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA


Laith Ezzet, Senior Vice President (presenter)

Haley Kunert, Associate Analyst (co-author)


California’s mandatory commercial organics regulation, AB 1826, was phased in from April 2016 through January 1, 2019.  Now that the statutory phased-in implementation period is complete, we can measure jurisdiction compliance and overall success in diverting commercial organics.  Additionally, California is implementing additional mandatory participation requirements for residential and commercial organics programs effective January 1, 2022 under SB 1383.  We will present examples of commercial organics programs implemented in California in response to the State’s mandatory commercial organics law, including collection methods, processing methods, rate structures, participation levels, and success in diverting organic material.  We will also discuss the State’s penalties and enforcement efforts for non-compliant jurisdictions.

Attendees will learn:

  • What types of organics collection and processing programs, outreach, and rate structures have been most successful in diverting organic materials from landfills?
  • What levels of participation have been achieved, and how much of the waste stream is being diverted by commercial organics programs.
  • How have customer costs been impacted by the new programs.
  • What is the outlook for further organics diversion under the new SB 1383 requirements?
  • How is the State’s enforcement agency monitoring programs and what has happened to jurisdictions that have achieved compliance?

About the Speaker

Laith Ezzet has over 28 years of experience as a solid waste and recycling consultant.  He is currently actively involved in helping public agencies to develop and negotiate organics diversion programs with their solid waste service providers.  He has negotiated solid waste contracts with a combined value of over two billion dollars.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern California chapter of SWANA, and previously served on the Board for the California Resource Recovery Association.  He has presented papers at more than 30 industry events such as SWANA symposiums and workshops, Waste Expo, CRRA, WASTECON, SCWMF, California League of Cities, and other industry organizations.