A new year is almost upon us and, according to the left, so is the “climate change crisis.” Put those together and that means California bureaucrats are set to impose a new fresh hell of tyrannical regulations on their citizens. Beginning January 1, 2022, under Senate Bill 1383 and the penalty of stiff fines in most cases, all Californians will be required to separate their excess food waste into bins to be collected by local recycling services.
Not only will every resident in the state have yet another extremely rank-smelling bin full of inedible week-old tuna casserole, mushy cucumbers, fuzzy yogurt, and rotting banana peels to drag out to the curb, it also means every food-related business in the state must also do the same while additionally arranging for the collection and hauling away of all edible food waste to solid waste facilities, local food banks, and other food recovery organizations. These are the very same businesses that have struggled mightily to stay in business throughout the pandemic and Governor Newsom’s tyrannical lockdowns.
SB-1383 was signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2016. It requires California to reduce organic waste disposal by 50 percent by 2020 and by 75 percent by 2025. It also aims for the “rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed of surplus food by 2025.”
According to CalRecycle, landfills are the third-largest source of methane production in California.
Organic waste in landfills emits 20 percent of the state’s methane, which is considered “a climate super pollutant” that is “84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.” Air pollutants contribute to health conditions like asthma, and organic wastes like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard consist of half of the waste Californians dump into their landfills. Leftists believe reducing such short-lived “climate super pollutants” like organic waste will have the fastest impact on the “climate crisis.”
In the utopia of leftists’ “climate change crisis” dreams, all of this food waste will be collected for compost, biofuel, mulch, and electricity; however, like most leftist pie-in-the-sky dreams, SB-1383 did not take into account the costs, time, infrastructure, or legal arrangements needed to implement such drastic requirements, especially during a pandemic. While reducing the amount of organic waste going into California’s landfills to fight the so-called “climate change crisis” may seem like a noble cause on the surface, once again leftist bureaucrats have failed to consider the real impact of their ideas on average citizens and business owners. These regulations force cities, counties, homeowners, and businesses to spend money they don’t necessarily have on services none of them asked for in the first place. It also remains to be seen if there will even be a demand for the composted material or fuel.
Senator John Laird (CA-17) worked to get SB-619 passed to mitigate the short-sighted SB-1383, giving California residents and businesses more time to comply with the food waste disposal regulations before fines kick in. Now cities and counties will have time to properly establish local compost and mulch procurement procedures and facilities. They will also be able to secure appropriate funding to implement these regulations, record-keeping, and development of local food recovery programs. The mitigation, however, only delays the inevitable and damaging impact.
Even so, these added expenses will put a greater financial burden on California’s already struggling families and businesses, leading many more to flee the state or go out of business altogether. And let’s not forget that this fresh regulatory hell will eventually make its way to your state since, as we’re all painfully aware, what starts in the once-golden state rarely stays in California.