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The requirement is on businesses to ensure that they are complying with the law. Jurisdictions shall implement a program that includes education, outreach, and monitoring to targeted businesses. Jurisdictions also have discretion to implement landfill bans, ordinances, or other means to regulate commercial recycling consistent with their legal authority.
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CalRecycle will continue to follow its historical process of reviewing jurisdictions’ AB 939 compliance by focusing on program implementation. CalRecycle’s Local Assistance and Market Development staff will continue to review the implementation of the local programs that the jurisdiction has chosen to implement, to determine if the jurisdiction has met the requirements. Additionally, CalRecycle will continue to rely on Electronic Annual Reports, annual staff jurisdiction site visits, and other information that the jurisdiction deems relevant.
If a jurisdiction already has a commercial recycling program that targets affected businesses and addresses the education, outreach, and monitoring components of the regulation, the jurisdiction would not be required to implement a new or expanded program. However, most jurisdictions will need to ensure that their program informs public entities and multifamily complexes about the state requirement to recycle under AB 341. In addition, depending on the program that the jurisdiction has for monitoring participation rates, the jurisdiction may need to add a component of informing those entities that are not recycling of the state requirement to recycle and how they can recycle in the jurisdiction.
No, a generation study is not required to demonstrate compliance with the regulation.
CalRecycle will be measuring if the state as a whole is meeting the goal of reducing approximately 2 to 3 million tons of solid waste from the commercial waste stream by conducting statewide waste characterization studies in 2014 and 2019.
Regarding jurisdictions’ compliance with the law, CalRecycle will take into consideration the reasons that a jurisdiction cannot provide data. However, jurisdictions should have some data to provide to CalRecycle in the Electronic Annual Report to demonstrate that they have conducted education, outreach, and monitoring activities. For example, jurisdictions should know (or have an estimate if the jurisdiction does not have a franchise system) how many businesses are located in the jurisdiction, and how many meet the threshold. The jurisdiction should also be able to determine or estimate the number of businesses that are recycling. The jurisdiction should also be able to report on how many businesses received outreach, education, and monitoring.
If jurisdictions are making a good-faith effort to provide education, outreach, and monitoring and there are things outside of their ability to control, e.g., a hauler will not provide data on businesses that meet the threshold, then CalRecycle would take this into consideration. Just as is required in the AB 939 review regarding implementing the Source Reduction and Recycling Element and Household Hazardous Waste Element programs, whether or not a jurisdiction has made a good-faith effort in complying with the commercial recycling requirement will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Typically, jurisdictions will utilize hauler information to assess if businesses are recycling. Jurisdictions also have the ability to place additional requirements on businesses. Jurisdictions will want to discuss approaches with their Local Assistance and Market Development contact in advance and report in the Electronic Annual Report their efforts at monitoring.
It is important to note that the jurisdiction is not held accountable if a business chooses not to recycle, although the jurisdiction still needs to have outreach, education, and monitoring in place. The monitoring of businesses that are and are not recycling is not intended to be onerous for the jurisdiction. However, Local Assistance and Market Development staff will want to know if there are businesses that are not recycling so that CalRecycle staff can assist - as you may have heard in past webinars there are a lot of ways to get businesses, public entities, and multifamily complexes to recycle - and Local Assistance and Market Development staff would like to see how we can assist you in working with key businesses that are not recycling.
Discuss your ideas with your Local Assistance and Market Development representative to get additional feedback and consider coordinating with any other neighboring jurisdictions for consistency.
Jurisdictions are required to implement outreach, education, and monitoring. CalRecycle will review each jurisdiction’s compliance as a part of its review authorized under AB 939 pursuant to PRC 41825. As part of that AB 939 program review, a good faith effort determination can be reached based on the parameters identified in PRC 41850 and PRC 42649.3 (i), namely that all reasonable and feasible efforts have been made to implement its commercial recycling program.
If CalRecycle finds that a jurisdiction has failed to make a good-faith effort to implement a commercial recycling program, CalRecycle would initiate the compliance order process, just as is currently done as a part of the AB 939 review. CalRecycle will evaluate the jurisdiction’s implementation of its outreach, education, and monitoring programs during its AB 939 review of the jurisdiction’s Source Reduction and Recycling Element and Household Hazardous Waste Element. If the jurisdiction is found to not have made a good-faith effort in implementing its programs, possibly including its mandatory commercial recycling program, CalRecycle can place the jurisdiction on a compliance order, as part of the AB 939 review. If the jurisdiction fails to adequately meet the conditions of the compliance order, then CalRecycle could consider a penalty hearing, etc.
No, the system alone is not sufficient, because the jurisdiction is still responsible for conducting education, outreach, and monitoring. Education, outreach, and monitoring ensure that businesses know about the state requirement to recycle and how they can recycle in the jurisdiction.
Most communities that have a mixed waste processing system also offer source-separated collection for particular material types, and there is likely associated education. Additional options that may be available to businesses based on the jurisdiction include use of third party recyclers, self-haul, back-haul, and/or donation of recyclables. These communities would need to educate businesses about the state requirement to recycle and how they can recycle in the jurisdiction, e.g. using source-separated collection, mixed waste processing, or a combination of both.
Monitoring efforts could include verification as to how the material is being processed at the materials recovery facility. For more information about mixed waste processing in relation to AB 341, please review the Initial Statement of Reasons.
CalRecycle understands that each jurisdiction has its own unique set of circumstances and generators and is in a better position to determine what will work best to divert material from the commercial sector. The proposed regulation provides flexibility and does not dictate how a jurisdiction must implement a program or that the material must be sent to a mixed waste processing facility prior to it being landfilled.
CalRecycle will consider availability of markets for collected recyclables, as well as availability of markets for organics.