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Trailblazing Organics Programs

March 24, 2017

WasteExpo Composting & Organics Recycling Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (May 8, 2017) Presenter: Laith Ezzet, Sr. Vice President

California recently implemented a mandatory commercial organics recycling law, AB 1826.  The largest organics generators were required to implement organics recycling programs by April 1, 2016, with smaller generators being phased in over the next few years.

This presentation will identify the wide range of organics collection methods, processing technologies, and rate structures that have been planned or implemented by various waste haulers and public agencies throughout the State of California to comply with the new mandatory organics recycling law.  These programs include:

  • Bag-based collection programs where organics are separated into plastic bags and then co-collected with refuse and recovered at a MRF
  • Source separated organics collection using carts and bins
  • Recovery of organics through mixed waste processing at a material recovery facility
  • Processing of organics at new anaerobic digestion facilities
  • Processing of organics into a slurry for digestion at waste water treatment plants
  • Composting of mixed organics, including food waste and green waste

Examples of rate structures include:

  • Free organics recycling services with costs recovered through increased refuse rates.
  • Reduced rates for organics collection at less than refuse rates.
  • Organics collection offered at the same cost as refuse rates.
  • Higher rates for organics collection above refuse rates that “stand on their own”.

The presentation will also include case studies of both successfully developed organics processing facilities, and unsuccessful facilities that were proposed but not developed due to political, permitting, or financial concerns.