Residents and business in the unincorporated parts of San Diego County will begin recycling organic waste by the end of the year, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“During the past few months, this board has indicated its shift toward prioritizing sustainability, climate action, conservation of open space and environmental justice,” said Nathan Fletcher, the county’s board of supervisors chairman. “Today’s action will bring our county government more in line with these new priorities.”
The organic waste recycling plan will require people to collect materials such as yard trimmings, food scraps, paper and cardboard, wood waste, and manure. Those items can be recycled into products such as paper, cardboard, compost and mulch, the board letter stated.
According to the Union-Tribune, removing those items from landfills will cover 9 percent of the greenhouse emissions reductions needed for the county’s climate action plan. The goal is for the unincorporated areas of the county to have “net zero” carbon emissions by or before 2045, the board letter stated.
The policy also is intended to meet targets set by California Senate Bill 1383, which calls for slashing methane emissions by reducing 75 percent of organic waste by 2025, compared to 2014 levels, and recovering 20 percent of discarded food.
The board’s decision will update agreements with waste haulers, requiring them to add residential and commercial food scrap collection and provide three separate bins for solid waste, recyclables and organic materials. They also must monitor the organics for contamination and educate customers about organic waste recycling.
These changes must take place before January 2022, the measure stated.