Solana Beach updates local law to comply with organic waste disposal requirements

Solana Beach City Hall
(File photo)

The Solana Beach City Council approved an amendment to the city’s municipal code to comply with state-mandated organic waste disposal requirements, based on a bill signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown a few years ago.

“By introducing this ordinance, we will be closer to complying with this requirement,” Rimga Viskanta, a senior management analyst for the city of Solana Beach, said during the council’s July 14 meeting. “And also by adopting this ordinance, the city will have the required enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure that all the organic recycling requirements are met.”

The goal of the legislation, SB 1383, introduced by former state Sen. Ricardo Lara, is to reduce emissions caused by short-lived climate pollutants. The bill also sets goals to reduce organic waste disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025, according to CalRecycle.

Organic waste in landfills emit approximately 20% of the state’s methane, according to CalRecycle.

Among the bill’s requirements, according to a city staff report, the city has to provide organic waste recycling services to all residents and businesses, start a program to recover edible food from the waste stream, and maintain records for yearly reporting requirements.

EDCO, which provides the city’s waste disposal, provides residents with an organic waste recycling program, and that program will be extended to many businesses by the end of this year, according to a city staff report.

“EDCO is on the forefront of this program,” Solana Beach City Manager Greg Wade said.

The state bill allows cities to take an educational approach to enforcement over the next two years, Viskanta said, but requires violators to be penalized starting in 2024.

“I do think that this is an incredibly complex and arduous burden the state has put on us, but also a necessary one,” Solana Beach City Councilman David Zito said. “Given how elegantly we shifted over to the residential organic collection already, and how that’s been going with minimal issues so far, I think I have a lot of hope that we’ll be able to roll out the additional changes as well.”