HOW TO COMPLY WITH CALIFORNIA WASTE AND RECYCLING LAWS

California leads the nation in the fight to divert waste, increase recycling, and reduce greenhouse gases. Here’s a look at major environmental laws enacted over the past 20 years, and Athens Services’ solutions to keep customers compliant.

California leads the nation in the fight to divert waste, increase recycling, and reduce greenhouse gases. Here’s a look at major environmental laws enacted over the past 20 years, and Athens Services’ solutions to keep customers compliant.

AB 939 (1989)
California Integrated Waste Management Act

Established standards for solid waste handling and disposal to protect air, water, and land from pollution. It required all California cities, counties, and approved regional solid waste management agencies to divert 25 percent of their solid waste by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000. This law established the California Integrated Waste Management Board, later the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

AB 341 (2011)
Mandatory Commercial Recycling

To further California’s recycling efforts, AB 341 established a statewide recycling goal of 75% by 2020. This law requires California commercial or public entities that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week, and multifamily dwellings of five or more units, to arrange for recycling services.

Athens customers who participate in a mixed-waste program are compliant by using one bin for both waste and recycling. Athens’ advanced Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) separate recyclables from mixed-waste to ensure compliance. Customers with a source-separated program comply by sorting their waste and recycling into separate containers.

AB 32 (2006)
California Global Warming Solutions Act

Requires greenhouse gases (GHG) cut to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The law targets vehicles, energy production, and fuels. Athens Services has nearly completed converting its fleet of collection trucks to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), resulting in low- or near-zero emissions. Each truck reduces GHG emissions equivalent to 225 gasoline-powered cars.

AB 1826 (2014)
Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

Requires local governments to establish organic waste recycling programs. In addition, it requires businesses and multifamily residences of at least five units that generate four cubic yards or more of solid waste per week to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Athens recycles organics through composting and mulching at our American Organics composting facility. Organic waste includes green and landscape waste, food scraps, and 100% fiber-based food-soiled paper.

Athens also helps to reduce GHG by diverting organic waste from landfills to American Organics. This enables Athens to do our part in limiting the production of methane gas that is generated from organic waste when disposed in landfills.

AB 1594 (2014)
Green Material Disposal

Effective January 1, 2020, jurisdictions can no longer count green material used as alternative daily cover (ADC) at landfills toward their recycling goals. They are required to develop plans to divert green material from landfills.

Athens’ composting program is an integral part of the recycling loop. By receiving local organic material, we can create nutrient rich soil amendments for reuse in the communities we serve.

Athens Services provides sustainable, closed-loop solutions to organics management while educating consumers, diverting valuable resources from landfills, and enhancing the quality of green waste and food scraps for beneficial reuse

SB 1383 (2016)
Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: Organic

Waste Methane Emissions Reductions Requires a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. The law also requires at least 20 percent of currently disposed edible food be recovered for human consumption by 2025.

Jurisdictions, haulers, and generators are required to implement programs to be in compliance with the law by January 1, 2022.

Athens is minimizing food waste, promoting edible food rescue programs, and composting organic waste
to reduce methane emissions from decaying organic waste in landfills.

Athens partners with local food recovery organizations to provide customers with support in establishing food donation programs. For more information, visit athensservices.com/fooddonation/