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Organic Waste Revolution Comes to Laguna Woods

Due to California Senate Bill 1383, on the first day of the new year, Village residents will notice Waste Management’s green trucks with white cabs have been replaced by CR&R Incorporated trucks, which are blue with red, white and blue cabs. 

The whys and hows behind this major shift in solid waste handling services, which takes place January 1, 2022, are many. FAQs shared below address the bill’s details, why changes must be made now, information about the new solid waste handler and more. 

“What’s Up in the Village” and other communications platforms will provide additional details provided by the City of Laguna Woods regarding this very significant news each week as our community draws closer to Jan. 1. 

What is California Senate Bill 1383?

In September 2016, former Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1383, which aims to reduce methane, hydrofluorocarbon gas and anthropogenic black carbon emissions in a statewide effort to combat climate change and improve public health.

Central to the reduction of landfill disposal-related methane emissions are targets to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% and recover 20% of edible food waste by 2025. 

SB 1383 applies throughout California (including incorporated cities and unincorporated areas) and creates significant new regulatory mandates affecting solid waste handling services. 

The most visible change for Laguna Woods Village will be the implementation of source separated organic (food waste) recycling effective January 1, 2022, mirroring a similar state law that required the implementation of source separated organic recycling for certain clubhouses and commercial waste generators beginning in 2016. 

SB 1383 received strong support in Sacramento with efforts earlier this year to delay the implementation of residential organic recycling ultimately proving unsuccessful.

Why will there be a change in waste haulers?

Waste Management elected to opt out of an extension of its existing agreement due to the need for changes related to the impending implementation of residential organic recycling and other requirements under SB 1383. Following a competitive Request for Proposals process, the Laguna Woods City Council awarded a new agreement to CR&R Incorporated, which succeeds Waste Management as Laguna Woods Village’s waste hauler effective January 1, 2022. Village governance has no involvement in the decision regarding waste haulers. 

Who is CR&R Incorporated?

CR&R Inc. is a family-owned company that has provided solid waste handling services since 1963. Current clients include the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Irvine, La Habra, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton and Tustin, as well as the County of Orange (for the unincorporated communities of El Modena, Rancho Mission Viejo and Rossmoor), Costa Mesa Sanitary District and Midway City Sanitary District.

Why are changes necessary now?

SB 1383 includes several organic waste reduction goals, including (1) to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025 and (2) to recover 20% of edible food waste by 2025. To achieve those goals, SB 1383 requires that residential organic recycling programs begin no later than January 1, 2022. SB 1383 does not allow the deferral of residential organic recycling programs until 2025.

How will California Senate Bill 1383 affect solid waste costs?

Source separation requires an entirely new set of containers, additional vehicles and the associated labor to drive and operate those vehicles. In Laguna Woods Village, that will result in the addition of a new third stream (organics) to the existing two-stream disposal model (trash and recycling) in most shared trash enclosures. Once collected, SB 1383 requires residential organic waste to be recycled by means such as anaerobic digestion or composting, both of which require specialized facilities at considerably greater cost than landfilling.

When will additional information be available on residential organic recycling?

Laguna Woods Village, including representatives from GRF, Third, United and VMS boards of directors, is working with the City of Laguna Woods and CR&R Inc. to identify shared trash enclosure locations for new organic recycling carts. Materials to assist with the implementation of residential organic recycling will be available in December, in advance of the start of residential organic recycling in January 2022. Until then, please continue to separate your trash and recycling as you currently do.

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