By Arnold Adler
PARAMOUNT — City residents will join others throughout the state in disposing of uneaten and waste food items with leaves and lawn clippings instead of regular trash.
It’s in compliance with a state law that took effect Jan. 1 aimed at recycling organic wastes into compost to promote planting and reduce the amount of trash dumped into landfills.
The law required cities to alter contracts with their trash haulers to put the new law into action, which could involve an increase in trash-hauling bills.
The Paramount City Council approved an ordinance Dec. 14 mandating the new procedure and a resolution pledging the city will meet certain quotas in the amount of organic wastes it contributes and to purchase recycled products, such as paper.
“One of the requirements of the state’s mandatory organics recycling law is that the city establish a procurement policy related to the procurement of organic waste and recycled content products,” said Public Works Director Adriana Figueroa and Public Works Manager Wendy Macias in a report to the council.
The city’s procurement policy will reflect the requirement of Senate Bill 1383’s mandate on the organic waste recycling, they said.
The regulations require the city to procure a specified amount of recovered organic waste products to support organic waste disposal reduction targets and the markets for products made from recycled and recovered organic waste materials.
Requirements specifically require that the city purchase recycled-content paper products, recycled content printing and writing paper, as well as renewable gas products from organic waste, the report said.
Under terms of the new law, the city also must encourage residents to convert food scraps and other natural wastes into compost.
As part of the outreach and education component, workshops will be offered to promote the benefits of soil amendment for plants, mulching around trees, and a topcoat for lawns and parks, the staff report added.
The council also gave final approval Dec. 14 to the organic waste ordinance first passed Nov. 16.
That ordinance compiles with Senate Bill 1383, enacted in 2017, that seeks to reduce the statewide disposal of organic waste by 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
Paramount and surrounding cities have approved laws mandating that organic waste generators, haulers and other entities subject to the requirements of SB 1383 regulations and subject to the jurisdiction’s authority, comply with SB 1383 regulatory requirements, Figueroa and Macias told the council.
Under the city’s ordinance, food generators will be required to participate in organic waste collection programs, reduce and/or manage organic wastes onsite in a safe and environmental manner, or self-haul organic waste to a processing facility for the purpose of diverting organic matter away from landfills.
For households with backyards, that includes backyard composting, grass recycling, organic gardening and landscaping.
Multifamily residences and commercial and industrial properties may include onsite micro-technologies for processing of organic waste, as well as participation in community composting projects that the city will facilitate.
The city plans to work with Calmet, its contracted trash hauler, on a phased-in approach to a residential organic recycling program.
“The ordinance specifies that all covered single-family residences, multifamily residences, commercial and industrial properties support and participate in organic waste disposal reduction,” Figueroa and Macias said in their report.
A residential neighborhood will be selected for a pilot program and they will be issued kitchens pails to aid in the collection of kitchen food scraps in their home and allow for an easier transfer into the green waste trash cart at the curb.
The phased-in approach will allow residents a small learning curve period, the report said.