Orange County’s proximity to Mexico and other Pacific Rim countries makes it an attractive location for entrepreneurs from these regions to start small businesses. Some common industries include technology, health care, finance, food and tourism.
These businesses have helped make Orange County’s economy diverse and strong. However, no matter what kind of business they are, they must follow rules to protect the environment. One of these rules is to reduce the amount of food and other organic waste they throw away.
What law governs organic waste reduction?
In January 2020, California law SB 1383 went into effect. It aims to reduce organic waste in landfills by 75% by the year 2025. This law requires businesses and households to take specific actions to reduce their organic waste generation and increase their recycling and composting efforts.
This means that businesses that generate more than two tons of organic waste per week must arrange for organic waste recycling and composting services. This includes businesses in the food service, grocery and food processing industries and large venues such as stadiums and arenas.
How important is it to follow this law?
By requiring businesses to recycle and compost their organic waste, the law aims to reduce the amount of organic waste in landfills. This is important because organic waste in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In addition, if this waste ended up in landfills, it could also contaminate soil and groundwater, posing a risk to public health and the environment.
What can a business do to comply?
To help businesses follow this law, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has given them tools and resources to reduce their organic waste and increase their recycling and composting. This includes:
- Technical assistance
- Access to educational materials
- Source of funding to invest in tools to manage organic waste
Businesses can also work on the ideas below to reduce their organic waste:
- Reducing food waste and packaging
- Giving extra food to food banks and other charities
- Recycling and composting organic waste using different methods such as worm composting, aerobic composting and anaerobic digestion
- Investing in tools for managing organic waste, such as composting facilities and anaerobic digesters
By taking these steps, businesses are not only following the law, but they are also helping to protect the environment. They can also save money on waste disposal costs, and they can improve their reputation among environmentally conscious customers and employees. To ensure compliance with these rules, it would help to consult with an attorney who can help in identifying your environmental obligations.