BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 28, 2014

                                Wesley Chesbro, Chair
                   AB 1826 (Chesbro) - As Amended:  April 22, 2014
          SUBJECT  :   Solid waste:  organic waste

           SUMMARY  :   Requires generators of specified amounts of organic  
          waste to arrange recycling services for that material.

           EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the California Integrated Waste Management Act of  
            1989, which: 

             a)   Specifies a state policy goal that 75 percent of solid  
               waste generated be diverted from landfill disposal by 2020.  

             b)   Requires each local jurisdiction to divert 50 percent of  
               solid waste from landfill disposal.

             c)   Requires a commercial waste generator, including  
               multi-family dwellings, to arrange for recycling services  
               and requires local governments to implement commercial  
               solid waste recycling programs designed to divert solid  
               waste from businesses. 

          2)Establishes the California Global Warming Solutions Act of  
            2006 (AB 32), which requires the California Air Resources  
            Board (ARB) to: 

             a)   Adopt regulations requiring the reporting and  
               verification of statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

             b)   Adopt a statewide GHG emissions limit equivalent to 1990  
               emissions levels by 2020.

           THIS BILL  :  

          1)Requires businesses that generate organic waste to arrange for  
            recycling services for that material on the following  


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  2

             a)   Beginning January 1, 2016, a business that generates  
               eight cubic yards or more of organic waste per week; 

             b)   Beginning January 2, 1017, a business that generates  
               four cubic yards of organic waste per week; and, 

             c)   On and after January 1, 2019, a business that generates  
               one cubic yard or more of organic waste per week.  

          2)Defines terms used in the bill, including: 

             a)   "Business" as a commercial or public entity including,  
               but not limited to, a firm, partnership, proprietorship,  
               joint stock company, corporation, or association that is  
               organized as a non-profit or for-profit entity, or a  
               multifamily dwelling.  

             b)   "Organic waste" as food waste, green waste, landscape  
               and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and  
               food-soiled paper. 

             c)   "Organic waste generator" as a business that is subject  
               to the requirements of the bill.  

          3)Requires organic waste generators to do one of the following: 

             a)   Source separate organic waste and subscribe to recycling  
               service that includes collection or self-hauling; or,

             b)   Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that may  
               include mixed waste processing that specifically recycles  
               organic waste. 

          4)Requires businesses that contract for landscaping or gardening  
            services to require that the organic waste generated be  
            recycled in compliance with the bill.  

          5)Specifies that multifamily dwellings of fewer than five units  
            are exempt from the requirements of this bill.  

          6)Specifies that food waste generated by multifamily dwellings  
            of five or more units is not subject to the requirements of  
            this bill.  

          7)On and after January 1, 2016, requires each local jurisdiction  


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  3

            to implement an organic waste recycling program that is  
            appropriate for the jurisdiction and designed to divert  
            organic waste generated by businesses.  Specifies that local  
            jurisdictions that have an organic waste recycling program in  
            place prior to January 1, 2016 do not have to implement a new  
            or expanded program.  

          8) Authorizes local jurisdictions to exempt businesses from the  
            requirements of the bill on a case-by-case basis for specified  

          9)Requires local jurisdictions to include specified information  
            relating to the organic waste recycling program in each  
            jurisdiction's annual report to the Department of Resources  
            Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).  

          10)Specifies that if a local jurisdiction adds or expands an  
            organic waste recycling program pursuant to the bill, it is  
            not required to update its source reduction and recycling  
            element or obtain CalRecycle's approval.  

          11)Specifies that the bill does not limit the authority of a  
            local jurisdiction to adopt requirements that are more  
            stringent than the bill and clarifies that the bill does not  
            modify, limit, or abrogate: 

             a)   A solid waste franchise granted by a local government;  

             b)   A contract, license, or permit to collect solid waste  
               granted by a local government; or,

             c)   The existing right of a business to sell or donate its  
               recyclable organic waste materials.  

          12)Requires CalRecycle to identify and recommend actions to  
            address state and federal permitting and siting challenges and  
            to encourage the continued viability of the state's organic  
            waste processing and recycling infrastructure.  Requires  
            CalRecycle to cooperate with local government agencies and the  
            solid waste industry to provide assistance and incentives for  
            increasing the feasibility of organic waste recycling.  
          FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  4

           1)This bill  .  According to the author, "AB 1826 will help  
            California achieve the state's air quality, GHG, and waste  
            reduction goals by diverting organic materials from  

           2)Meeting the state's recycling goals  .  CalRecycle is tasked  
            with diverting at least 75 percent of solid waste statewide by  
            2020.  Currently, organic materials make up one-third of the  
            waste stream and food continues to be the highest single item  
            disposed at over 15 percent of disposal.  CalRecycle is also  
            charged with implementing its Strategic Directive 6.1, which  
            calls for reducing organic waste disposal by 50 percent by  
            2020.  According to CalRecycle, significant gains in organic  
            waste diversion are necessary to meet the 75 percent goal and  
            implementing Strategic Directive 6.1.  Recycling technologies  
            for organic waste include composting, anaerobic digestion, and  
            other types of processing that generate renewable fuels,  
            energy, soil amendments, and mulch.  Other states have taken  
            similar actions, and 23 have banned the disposal of green  
            waste (i.e., yard trimmings and landscape waste) in landfills.  

            Compost and other soil amendments that can be produced from  
            organic materials have been shown to improve soil health by  
            incorporating organic matter, beneficial micro-organisms, and  
            nutrients and reduce the need for chemical pesticides and  
            fertilizers.  These products also conserve water by allowing  
            water to penetrate the soil more quickly and decreasing  

            Recycling organic materials also creates local jobs.   
            According to CalRecycle, composting creates an average of four  
            jobs for every 1,000 tons of material, approximately four  
            times more than landfilling.

           3)Waste reduction and GHGs  .  According to ARB, a total reduction  
            of 80 million metric tons (MMT), or 16 percent compared to  
            business as usual, is necessary to reduce statewide GHG  
            emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  ARB intends to achieve  
            approximately 78 percent of the reductions through direct  
            regulations.  ARB proposes to achieve the balance of  
            reductions necessary to meet the 2020 limit (approximately 18  
            MMT) through a cap-and-trade program.


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  5

            The 2012-13 Budget Act authorized the Department of Finance to  
            allocate at least $500 million from cap-and-trade revenue, and  
            make commensurate reductions to General Fund expenditure  
            authority, to support the regulatory purposes of AB 32.  The  
            Governor's proposed 2013-14 Budget includes a brief discussion  
            of Administration priorities for investment, emphasizing  
            investments in the transportation and energy sectors from  
            which large reductions in GHG emissions are possible.  In  
            addition, areas to be examined during the planning process  
            include sustainable agriculture practices (including the  
            development of bioenergy), forest management and urban  
            forestry, and the diversion of organic waste to bioenergy and  
            composting.  ARB's draft three-year investment plan for  
            cap-and-trade revenues includes waste diversion as a funding  

            Recycling organic waste provides significant GHG reductions  
            over landfilling.  Composting and other organics processing  
            technologies, including anaerobic digestion, reduce GHGs by  
            avoiding the emissions that would be generated by the  
            material's decomposition in a landfill.  Landfill gas is  
            generated by the decomposition of organic materials such as  
            food, paper, wood, and yard waste.  Fifty percent of landfill  
            gas is methane, a GHG that is 21 times more efficient at  
            trapping heat than carbon dioxide.  While most modern  
            landfills have systems in place to capture methane,  
            significant amounts continue to escape into the atmosphere.   
            According to ARB's GHG inventory, approximately 7 million tons  
            of CO2 equivalent are released annually by landfills.  That  
            number is expected to increase to 8.5 million tons of CO2  
            equivalent by 2020.

            The Governor's 2014-15 Budget proposal for cap-and -trade  
            revenues, the Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenue Expenditure Plan,  
            requests $30 million for each of the next two years for  
            CalRecycle to support projects designed to increase recycling  
            and composting.  The proposal includes $20 million for grants  
            to expand existing or develop new facilities that process  
            organic or recyclable materials.  


          American Biogas Council


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  6

          Association of Compost Producers
          Biodegradable Products Institute
          Bioenergy Association of California 
          Breathe California
          California Biomass Energy Alliance
          California Climate and Agriculture Network 
          California Coastal Protection Network
          California League of Conservation Voters
          California Resource Recovery Association
          Californians Against Waste (sponsor)
          Castaway Solutions
          Center for Biological Diversity
          City and County of San Francisco
          Clean Power Campaign
          Coalition for Clean Air
          Community Alliance with Family Farmers
          Costa Mesa Sanitary District
          CR&R Environmental Services
          Ecology Center
          Environment California 
          Frank M Booth Design Build Co. 

          Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
          Global Green USA
          Grassroots Recycling Network
          Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
          GreenWaste Recovery
          Harvest Power
          Inland Empire Disposal Association
          Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
          Napa Recycling & Waste Services
          Natural Resources Defense Council 
          NatureWorks, LLC
          Northern California Recycling Association
          Peabody Engineering
          Planning and Conservation League
          Sierra Club California
          Solid Waste Association of Orange County
          Sonoma Compost
          Synergex International
          US Composting Council
          Vasko Electric, Inc. 


                                                                  AB 1826
                                                                  Page  7

          California Grocers Association
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Elizabeth MacMillan / NAT. RES. / (916)