What Does The New California Organic Waste Law Mean For Your Business?

, ,

Written by Dawn DeVroom, IDR Environmental Services

If your California business generates waste (what business doesn’t?), you now have a new law to prepare for in your waste management process.

Senate Bill 1383, which took effect Jan. 1, 2022, requires that businesses and residents separate organic materials from their trash. Passed in 2016 as a measure that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, the bill adds a new layer of complexity for managing waste in the thousands of businesses across the state.

While organic waste like food scraps are the first to come to mind, there are several other types of materials businesses must begin separating from trash and recycling under this law. These materialsorganic waste law include:

  • Landscape waste
  • Wood
  • Paper products
  • Manure
  • Organic textiles

The law also changes how certain types of businesses sort trash. Restaurants, hospitals and supermarkets must send at least 20% of its excess edible food to food banks.

It’s a lot to digest for business as well as the communities that must put processes in place to facilitiate this change. That’s why the law gives local and county jurisdictions until 2024 to implement organic collection services for businesses and residences, similar to how trash and recycling are collected now.

Important note: As a business, it’s important to start planning for this new change in waste laws now. Any non-hazardous waste you currently generate (cardboard, food scraps, depleted aerosol cans, plastic packaging, etc.), will continue to be picked up by your local waste management company you contract with currently.

Any materials that fall under this new organic waste law will also probably be handled by your local trash pick-up service. However, you will need to update your internal waste management protocols to include this new waste stream.

If you are uncertain whether your waste is non-hazardous or hazardous, or need assistance updating your internal waste management protocols if you produce multiple waste streams, contact a licensed hazardous disposal company for help.

Why Non Hazardous Waste Disposal Is Important

Although many businesses in various industries rely on transportersorganic waste law to help them legally dispose of their hazardous waste, proper non-hazardous waste disposal is also important.

Many states and local communities have their own waste disposal laws that cover a variety of types of waste, from hazardous to non-hazardous. These laws are put into place to protect the public. After all, just because a type of waste isn’t considered “hazardous” according to state and federal standards does not mean it does not pose some level of risk to the environment and community at large.

While items like paper, food scraps and landscape waste like leaves usually aren’t deemed hazardous, they can still pose a long-term threat to the environment by contributing to landfills. When trash disposed in landfills begins to decompose, the bacteria in the waste can produce methane gas that is released into the atmosphere.

Even when waste disposal is completed according to the law, this process can contribute to a company’s carbon footprint and hurt the company’s efforts to become more sustainable.

New laws such as Senate Bill 1383 also have enormous legal ramifications for businesses. Not following any waste management law can lead to costly mistakes and a public relations nightmare.

News stories of hazardous waste law violators are endless, from Albertsons to CarMax and Walmart. They also have one thing in common … millions of dollars in fines. Now, with this new law that focuses on organic waste, companies must focus on ensuring another waste stream is properly disposed of or face many of the same ramifications.

How A Waste Disposal Company Can Help

One of the first actions a company should take with the implementation of this new law is to evaluate its current waste streams and how this new legislation impacts them. A certified waste disposal company that offers a walk-through program can help.

The purpose of a walk-through program is to evaluate your waste procedures. This allows you to catch potential mistakes before they turn into costly fines.

The best waste disposal companies will have extensive knowledge of new legislature, and most importantly, how these new laws impact your specific business. This knowledge helps you develop a practical and reliable plan that puts your company in a position to update its waste management practices proactively rather than reactively.

Working with a certified waste disposal company offers other benefits as well, including:

  • Offering the ability to identify waste streams through profiling and testing
  • Transporting your waste to the proper recycling and disposal sites since it’s likely new sites will be developed to accept organic waste
  • Offering evidence that your waste has been properly disposed of
  • Providing you with any other documentation required of your waste, such as manifests

As state and federal governments continue to develop new waste laws or to refine current waste laws, it’s important to put your business in a position where it can more easily adapt to any changes.

Working with a hazardous waste disposal company and your local trash pick up service will ensure you are meeting both federal, state and local municipality laws.

 

Ontario: Hazardous and Special Products Producers Reporting Deadline is January 31st

,

Producers and producer responsibility organizations (PROs) of category A (oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers), category B (oil containers, antifreeze, pesticides, refillable pressurized containers, solvents, paints and coatings) and category C (mercury-containing barometers, thermometers and thermostats) are required to submit a 2022 Interim Report to the Ontario Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority (RPRA) by January 31, 2022.

What information must be submitted in the 2022 Interim Report?

Category A and B producers

Producers of oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze, pesticides, refillable pressurized containers, non-refillable pressurized containers, solvents, paints and coatings are required to report the following information:

  • a list of all collection services provided, including collection sites, collection events, call-in collection services (call-in collection is only applicable to Large producers, see FAQ below to confirm if you are considered a large producer) and curbside pickup for the transitional period of October 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022
  • the name and contact information of each processor, hauler and disposal facility that is part of the collection and management system

Category C producers

All producers of mercury-containing barometers, thermometers and thermostats are required to report the following information:

  • a list of call-in collection services, and if applicable, collection sites and collection events that began as of October 1, 2021
  • the name and contact information of each processor, hauler and disposal facility that is part of the collection and management system

Working with PROs

Producers can enlist the services of a PRO to file this reporting (e.g. establishing and operating a collection and management system) on their behalf. The RPRA recommends that producers who have signed up with a PRO confirm with them directly that they will be submitting the 2022 Interim Report on their behalf. If you have not engaged the services of a PRO and wish to do so, you can find a list of PROs here.

Producers can also choose to establish and operate their own collection system. If you are establishing and operating your own collection and management system, you are required to send an email to [email protected] and a Compliance Officer will send you a template for completion. If you retained the services of a PRO after registering with the RPRA, you need to send an email to [email protected] indicating which PRO will be reporting on your behalf.

PROs submitting reports on behalf of producers

PROs who are reporting on behalf of their producer clients must use the 2022 Interim Reporting form that was sent to them by the Compliance and Registry Team.

About the Regulation

The Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) designates automotive materials (oil filters, oil containers and antifreeze), solvents, paints and coatings, pesticides, fertilizers, mercury-containing devices (barometers, thermometers and thermostats) and pressurized containers (non-refillable pressurized containers, refillable pressurized containers, refillable propane containers), under Ontario’s individual producer responsibility (IPR) regulatory framework.

As of October 1, 2021, following the wind up of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program operated by Stewardship Ontario on September 30, 2021, HSP producers are individually accountable and financially responsible for requirements set out under the HSP Regulation.