The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday passed a motion aimed at complying with a state requirement to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025.
Under Senate Bill 1383, which was adopted in 2016, California requires all jurisdictions to reduce organic waste disposal by that amount. CalRecycle, the state’s recycling and waste regulatory agency, can issue escalating penalties for non-compliance starting Jan. 1, 2022, when jurisdictions are required to have taken steps toward the goal.
Starting in 2022, all jurisdictions are required to provide organic waste collection services and recycle the organic material.
Under the motion passed Tuesday, which was introduced by Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz, the Bureau of Sanitation was instructed to report to the City Council within 60 days on necessary steps to comply with CalRecycle regulations to reduce waste.
The motion said that “Los Angeles has been at the forefront implementing waste collection programs and recycling to address operational efficiencies and climate change” citing RecycLA contracts for collecting organic waste from large multifamily properties and businesses.
According to the motion, California landfills are the state’s third largest source of generated methane gas, and about half of the items dumped into the landfills are organic waste such as food scraps, yard trimmings, paper and cardboard.
“Some people have asked us what took us so long, the climate issues are getting worse seemingly by the day, methane is a major greenhouse gas pollutant and our food waste coming out of Los Angeles is enormous,” Koretz said before Tuesday’s vote. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the city to “move cautiously into our compliance” with the state law.
“Now, with the state law starting in a few weeks, it’s finally time to get our food waste requirements into place,” he said.
The motion passed 12-0, with Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Marqueece Harris-Dawson absent, and Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas suspended following his indictment on federal corruption charges.