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Residential food waste recycling is on target to start during 2022
ripon garbage can
Ripon residents will see changes in green waste materials in the coming years due to the State of California Organic Recycling Regulations.

In the coming years, Ripon residents will have to re-adjust their use of the green garbage containers.

That’s due to the State of California Organic Recycling Regulations otherwise known as SB 1383, enacted in 2016 and designed to reduce methane emissions statewide. This includes cities being required to take all green waste to organic composting facilities, where it would be composted and reused, within the next few years. 

At the July 13 Ripon City Council meeting, Director of Public Works James Pease indicated that his staff is looking to keep the two-can trash system, requiring that each resident have both the black and green curbside trash cans by next year.

“Every single resident will have to put all food waste and (edible) scraps into the green can,” he said.

The green can is used for grass and yard clippings, which are currently hauled off to a facility in Lathrop – the previous place was shut down without warning and never reopened after steadily increasing its rates during the past four years, according to Pease.

Solid waste materials in the black cans will continue to go to the Lovelace Materials Recovery Facility and Transfer Station while residents can dispose of their recyclable materials at the Ripon Recycling Center.

In order to provide green cans to those residents currently without it, Pease said 1,250 new ones at a one-time fee of $90,000 coupled with a $23,000 increase in operating costs coupled with a 15 percent increase for the organic volume.

When asked by Councilman Mike Restuccia of the State’s goal on the matter, Pease responded, answering with “reducing the methane gases in an effort to reduce global warning” as that goal.

“Every city is trying how to get this done,” he added.

While SB 1383 affects residents, SB 1826 – the Mandatory Organic Recycling Law (recycling of food waste, food-soiled paper, green waste, nonhazardous wood waste, organic and pruning) – does much of the same but geared towards businesses.

“The key dates for the bill include cities being required to provide several programs by 2022 and enforce by use of citations by 2024 – the State will require cities to pass an ordinance similar to the to the storm water regulation ordinance,” said Pease, who added that staff has been reviewing a 54-page sample ordinance to determine what’s required.

In order to key costs down, the City is planning to lock in on contracts on organic waste recycling facilities. “There will be capacity problems as cities are required to recycle so much green waste without adequate number of facilities,” he noted.

SB 1383 does require 50 to 100 new or expanded organic waste recycling facilities.

Another component to this bill, Pease said, is inspection and enforcement.

The State will require cities to audit records, prepare annual compliance reviews, and conduct route reviews and inspections.

Notices of violation and penalties won’t occur until 2024 – Cal Recycle would be in charge of performing the annual audit to make sure cities are doing their part to enforce fines and penalties – with the years leading up to that being used to educate and provide outreach to residents and businesses on the organic recycling regulations.

The next steps from here will include adopting an ordinance, drafting agreements with facilities, and identifying food recovery sources, Pease said.

Restuccia, in addition, showed concerns about the businesses.

“We just came out of COVID and now the State is going to allow these businesses to recover before imposing fines,” he said.

Restuccia would like to send letters to the State, requesting possibly pushing back on the dates.