By signing SB 1383, on September 19, 2016, Governor Brown places California, once again, at the forefront of environmental progress. The law provides the direction and incentive for diverting organic material from California landfills, where it would otherwise create significant short-lived climate pollutants.
Organic waste materials make up two-thirds of the state’s waste stream and when disposed of in landfills they generate methane, a short-lived climate pollutant that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide.
SB 1383 requires a 50% reduction in the statewide disposal of organic waste by 2020 and a 75% reduction by 2025, as compared with 2014 levels. The state’s implementation strategies include recovering 20% of edible food that is currently disposed to feed food insecure Californians, as well as composting organic waste to create rich, natural soil amendments.
The potential impact of diverting organics in San Diego alone is enormous:
- Free up 700,000 tons/year of landfill space
- Create new markets and jobs worth $2,000,000/year
- Save local businesses $20M/year in disposal fees
- Avoid 127,000 metric tons/year of greenhouse gases