Preserving the Environment

Why Every State Should Be Like California

February 2, 2015
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Why Every State Should Be Like California
A new bill will require California businesses to have all of their food waste composted and/or anaerobically digested. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Businesses are required to do their part to help save the planet.

The future is looking very green for California.

Starting this year, the Golden State will take its sustainable reputation even further when all food waste from commercial businesses will be converted to energy through anaerobic digestion.

Last September, in response to a desire to keep food waste out of landfills, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1826 into the books. Not only will this measure increase California’s already bustling composting and anaerobic digestion infrastructure, reports Sustainable Cities Collective, but it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions — namely methane, which is produced by organic waste and is one of the worst greenhouse gases.

“We’ve been really good at recycling in California, such as bottles and cans,” Nick Lapis, legislative coordinator of the nonprofit environmental advocacy organization Californians Against Waste, tells Sustainable Cities Collective. “But we haven’t done as good a job with commercial waste.”

The bill, which requires companies that produce at least 200 tons of organic waste per year (such as supermarkets, hotels and convention centers) to have all of their waste composted and/or anaerobically digested, will go into effect in stages starting July 2015. By 2017, if a company produces at least 100 tons of organic waste, they must comply to the law. And in 2019, commercial producers of 100 tons of total waste will be required to compost or anaerobically digest it.

In a press release, lead author of AB 1826 Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro said, “California is on the forefront of the farm-to-fork movement, but the next step is to move the entire state full circle and transition from fork-to-farm.”

Talk about something that can be digested easily.

MORE: 71 Surprising Things That You Can Compost

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