Republic Service trash hauler

Republic Service trash hauler works an apartment complex route in Chino Hills.

Residents in Chino Valley will see big changes in their trash routines when a state law goes into effect in January requiring food waste to be separated from garbage.

The councils of both cities approved ordinances in the last two weeks to comply with Senate Bill 1383 that requires residents, businesses, and multi-family complexes to recycle organic waste.

The state defines organic waste as food, landscape trimmings, lumber, wood, manure, cardboard, and paper products.

The law was signed by Gov. Brown in 2016 to address methane gas emitted by organic waste in landfills as it decomposes.

Chino

The Chino City Council approved the first reading of its ordinance on Tuesday. 

Glenda Chavez of Waste Management, Chino’s refuse hauler, said organic material generated in the home includes paper, poultry, meats, dairy products, eggshells, fruits and vegetables.

The ordinance proposes the use of a three-cart system which includes gray or black containers for solid waste; green containers for green waste, food, and other organics; and blue containers for recyclables that are not organic.

“Normally people just throw banana peels in the trash but what we’re encouraging folks to do now is to put that in the green waste bin,” City Manager Matt Ballantyne said. “Waste haulers will be recycling and processing the green waste material to use for renewable energy.”

Businesses that generate two or more cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week will be required to comply with the regulation.

The organic waste ordinance will be implemented Jan. 1, 2022, in a gradual manner. 

Between January 2022 and December 2023, the city will provide education workshops, food recovery programs, and outreach for residents and businesses before city enforcement goes into effect in January 2024.

Ms. Chavez said information will be presented to residents in different languages after Councilman Chris Flores said he hopes outreach is provided for Spanish-speaking residents.

Until SB 1383 goes into effect, city staff is unable to determine the cost for the program implementation.

“This is going to be interesting to have all this stuff together in a trashcan for a week,” Mayor Eunice Ulloa said.

Chino Hills

The Chino Hills City Council adopted its ordinance on Nov. 9, the same night four trash companies were recommended to advance to the final stage of the selection process.

The selected company would handle the organic waste component of the contract.

The city’s current hauler, Republic Services, whose contract has expired, was one of the final four.

Debbie Morris, senior project manager of HF&H Consultants hired by the city for its expertise in the solid waste industry, told the council that the city has until 2024 to establish a code enforcement mechanism.

Violation notices would not be issued until Jan. 1, 2024, she said.

CalRecycle, a department within the California Environmental Protection Agency, will provide oversight for the program.

Ms. Morris presented a PowerPoint with statistics provided by CalRecycle that California disposed of 27 million tons of organic waste in 2017, and throws away more than six million tons of food waste every year.

Ms. Morris said the law requires the state to achieve a 75 percent reduction in organics disposal (2014 baseline) by Jan. 1, 2025.

She said 20 percent of disposed edible food for human consumption must be “recovered” by the same date.

To this end, food recovery programs will be established that targets edible food generated from restaurants, grocery stores, and food distributors. 

Food recovery organizations would distribute the food to people in need, she said.

Chino Hills Assistant City Manager Rod Hill said Wednesday that the city and Republic Services have been conducting outreach to businesses about organic waste collection for a few years and there is a commercial component already in place.

Mr. Hill said the city’s selected waste hauler will have several options to address the law’s mandates, which includes allowing organic waste to be placed in the green waste container.

He said residents will most likely receive a food waste pail for their kitchen to discard of food scraps.

The food would then be placed in the green waste container where it will be sent to a facility and composted.

Hence, Mayor Ulloa’s comment about “having all this stuff together in a trashcan for one week.”

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