Recycling News and Information
This is the place to read up on the most current sustainability and waste diversion news. Click on the arrows at the end of the first paragraph in each post to read more.
Mandatory Commercial Business Recycling and Organic Collection Programs
In October 2014 Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 Chesbro (Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014), requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. This law also requires that on and after January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units. The law phased in the requirements for businesses over time, while offering an exemption process for rural counties. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that further increased the scope of affected businesses. As such, in September of 2020, CalRecycle reduced the threshold to two cubic yards of solid waste (solid waste is the total of trash, recycling, and organics) generated by covered businesses. ….⇒
With the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1383, the state has become less flexible with a jurisdiction’s efforts to comply with the laws. Before, it was monitored under a “good faith effort,” but now, there is the potential for jurisdictions to face heavy financial penalties for noncompliance. SB 1383 reduces the threshold from two cubic yards per week to All Entities. Now, all entities must either subscribe to service or submit an application for a waiver. Waivers are not guaranteed, are reviewed by staff, and approved on a case by case basis. Once a waiver is issued, it is good for five years.
The strict requirements of these two laws, in addition to Assembly Bill (AB) 341, which requires enhanced commercial recycling services for any business generating four cubic yards of solid waste per week, were included in the City’s recent update of its Solid Waste Ordinance, adopted by City Council on March 1, 2022. A compliance letter was sent to all registered businesses in February of this year informing them of their requirements. This letter prompted a demonstrable response from the business community with mixed reviews.
Currently, less than fifty percent of commercial businesses in Oxnard have recycling services and less than five percent are in compliance with the new organics requirements. The City has worked hard over the last year to address the state’s concern over our lackluster compliance status and to reach out to businesses in an effort to increase compliance across all sectors.
We need the business community to lean in and work with the City to achieve full compliance and avoid financial penalties resulting from a failure to subscribe to recycling and organics services or to apply for a waiver, if appropriate. The City’s Recycling Team is here to help businesses achieve compliance. The city’s webpages offer information and resources to get started, including:
- Contact information to ask questions
- A FAQ section to find answers to questions independently
- Waiver applications for special conditions
- Alternative Services certification forms for private third party haulers and companies that self or back-haul materials for recycling or organics processing.
- Downloadable and printable signs and flyers to use when informing their tenants
- Rates for services so that businesses can see that recycling actually can save a business money
In the end, recycling and organic diversion programs make economic, environmental, and common sense. By avoiding the long-term impacts climate change will have on our community, local economy, and our environment now, we can ensure a brighter, healthier and prosperous future for all Oxnard residents.
Single Family Residential Organics and 3 Cart Collection Information
Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps each year. This equates to approximately 18 percent of all the material that goes to the landfill. But once organic material is placed in a landfill, it does not properly decompose and instead, creates harmful gases like Methane. Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide…⇒
Greenhouse gases result from ‘anthropgenic’ activities (human-influenced) like driving cars, industry, mining, industrial manufacturing and landfills. Methane is 25 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Climate change is an umbrella term for disruptions in natural weather and ecological systems, like droughts, mega wildfires, storm surges and sea level rises. All of these disruptions are likely to impact all Californians one way or another. CalRecycle, the governing body for the state’s Department of Resource Recovery and Conservation, passed a landmark law, SB 1383, which came into effect January 1, 2022. This law will dramatically change the way solid waste is managed, starting with organics. Organics include everything that was once living, like yard waste, food waste and even paper and cardboard. But all of these materials are collecte, processed and disposed of differently. To learn more about the organics collection services for single-family residential customers, CLICK HERE. For Commercial Businesses, CLICK HERE. For Multi-family residential customers, CLICK HERE.
For more information, please call (805) 385-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Does the Waste Go?
The solid waste industry is a $65 million dollar a year business in the United States. The average American generates approximately 5 pounds per day. Nearly three-quarters of what is thrown away could either be recycled or composted. Once material is deposited in a landfill, it is unable to properly decompose. Inert materials (things like metal, plastic, or glass) could remain unchanged for hundreds of years, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but never fully decomposing. Organic materials (things like yard waste, food, or paper) cannot fully decompose because there is not sufficient air, water, and microbes to complete the decomposition process….⇒
The collection, processing, transporting and disposing of solid waste, including recyclables and organic materials is a labor intensive job. In many cities, a private waste managment company manages solid waste. But in Oxnard, the City’s Environmental Resources Division is taskes with this enormous responsiblity.
Close to two hundred employees work out of the Del Norte Regional Recycling and Transfer Facility. Duties include, adminstration, collections (drivers), sorting, transferring (drivers), customer service, billing, recycling, repair and maintenance. The Division responsibly, safely and efficiently delivers the highest possible customer service under demanding condtions, and the pandemic did not make the work any easier.
When you throw something into the trash, it will be collected weekly by one of our drivers. It is hauled to the Transfer Facility, where it is loaded onto larger transfer trucks and sent to the landfill. At the landfill, heavy-duty machines and equipment bury the waste in cells that are lined to prevent groundwater contamination. The methane that is produced is often captured and reused to power the operations. Whatever goes into the landfill will remain there forever.
When you place items in your recycle bin, it will be collected weekly by one of our drivers. It is hauled to the Transfer Facility, where it is loaded onto the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) sort line, which is like a long conveyor belt. As materials move along the belt, workers sort out the valuable recyclables, including bottles, cans, plastics, cardboard and paper. All the leftover trash is sent to the landfill. Recyclable materials are baled and then posted on a commodies marketplace, where manufacturers can bid on them. Those manufacurers will make new products out of the recycled material. In many cases, recycling uses less energy than traditional manufacturing using virgin materials, in addition to preventing natural resources, like trees from being unnecessarily harvested.
When you place food scraps or yard waste into the organics cart, it will be collected weekly by one of our drivers. In the short-term, until a more technologically advanced facility can be constructed, it is manually sorted. Bagged food waste goes into one bin and clean green waste goes into another. Food waste from the residential and commercial waste streams is combined and sent to Simi Valley where it is furthered processed before being sent to Kern County for final processing into compost or biofuels. Green waste is typically hauled to one of Agromin’s facilities where it is turned into mulch or compost.
It may seem unlikely that what you place in your trash bin can have a lasting impact on our climate, but when you take into account all 40 million Californians, it certainly adds up. Each little contribution you make to help reduce negative anthropogenic impacts, the greater chance that our children and our children’s children will live in a cleaner, safer world.
Use the online Waste Wizard to learn how to properly dispose of everyday items.
Del Norte Drop Off Days!
Illegal dumping is an unauthorized disposal of waste on any public or private property. This is a common nuisance many cities must deal with. People tend to illegally dump trash or other items to avoid disposal fees, because they are misinformed about the lack of programs available for proper disposal or simply because they lack the necessary resources (i.e. a truck, time or money) to properly dispose of their unwanted items…⇒
Illegal dumping contributes to community blight and can often lead to criminal activity as well, not to mention, it can also pose potential harm to others or animals living in our community. Illegal dumping costs the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in unfunded disposal fees and staff time. It can also provide habitat for disease carrying rodents, insects and other pests. Finally, it could lead to other potential issues, such as fires and or contamination of local waterways. 311 is a program managed by the City of Oxnard’s Environmental Resources Division that removes over 30 tons of illegally dumped trash every week. There is a mobile app you can download onto your phone so that you can report illegal dumping and other city infrastructure issues. In an effort to help reduce illegal dumping, The City of Oxnard is sponsoring FREE Drop-off Days. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Christmas Tree Recycling begins December 27 this year!!
Each year, the Environmental Resources Division collects Christmas trees after the holidays. Christmas tress bring us joy during the holiday season. And they are a gift that can keep on giving, if they are properly recycled. Trees collected curbside are hauled to our local partner, Agromin, where they are gound into mulch or compost, providing a rich soil amendment that helps retain soil moisture, reduce erosion, surpress weeds and will break down over time, feeding the soil with rich nutrients…⇒
Placing a tree in the home during the holidays is a tradition dating back to ancient Egyptian and Roman eras illustrating their belief in life (living greenery) overcoming death (cold and dark winter). Northern European countries would attach candles and decorations in honor of the Winter Solstice. Trees were brought to America in the mid 1800s. After you’ve enjoyed the beauty of your holiday tree, recycle it via one of three methods. Between the first Monday after Christmas through the end of January, place your tree curbside. Remove decorations, lights and stands. The City Environmental Resources Divsion will collect them. If you have set your tree out and it was not collected, please call (805) 385-8060. Between the first Monday after Christmas through the end of January, trees can be brought to the Del Norte Regional Recycling and Transfer Station and will be accepted FREE of charge. If you live in an HOA, Condo or other multi-family residential property, we suggest contacting your property manager. They can arrange for a temporary bin or special pickup. **Fees apply for this service. Thank you for recycling your holiday tree and helping to keep Oxnard clean, safe and sustainable!