Upper Valley Waste Management Agency has a contract with Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling to provide collection service for garbage, recycling, and compostable materials in the Town of Yountville, Cities of St Helena and Calistoga and the surrounding unincorporated areas. You may find more information on the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency on the Napa County website.
In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 into California law, establishing statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals:
- By 2020, reduce the amount of organic material disposed in landfills by 50% from the 2014 level, and
- By 2025, reduce the amount of organic material disposed in landfills by 75% from the 2014 level.
- By 2025, no less than 20% of edible food currently disposed must also be recovered for human consumption.
This law expands upon the requirements of AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling and AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics. However, SB 1383 is unique in that it impacts residents in addition to businesses, and it requires some businesses to donate excess edible food to feed people in addition to diverting organic materials from the garbage. As the most aggressive waste reduction law to be adopted in California for the past 30 years, SB 1383 includes significant penalties for non-compliance.
The complete text on the final regulations for SB 1383 can be found on the CalRecycle website. CalRecycle is the state agency responsible for creating the regulatory standards for SB 1383.
- California is experiencing a climate crisis: record-breaking temperatures, longer fire seasons, extreme droughts, and rising sea levels. These extreme weather events are partly caused by too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, so named because they trap the sun’s heat and warm the planet.
- Scientists tell us that greenhouse gases released by human activities cause climate change. When organic materials like food scraps & yard waste are landfilled, they break down anaerobically (without oxygen). This creates methane – a greenhouse gas 84x more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Landfills are the 3rd largest source of methane emissions in California according to CalRecycle.
- Reducing short-lived climate super pollutants like methane will have the fastest impact on the climate crisis and the health of our planet. Composting organic materials significantly reduces greenhouse gas production.
- When finished compost is applied on land, greenhouse gases are pulled from the atmosphere and into the soil. By composting organic materials and recovering edible food for hungry people, we can all do our part to slow climate change.
- Additionally, SB 1383 addresses the issue of food waste and insecurity. About 40% of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted, and almost 1 out of 4 Californians are food insecure. The edible food recovery requirement will help feed those who are food insecure and prevent edible food (more compostable material) from being landfilled.
The SB 1383 regulations apply to all persons and entities that generate organic materials, such as food scraps and plant trimmings. Everyone is required to divert their organic materials from the garbage. In addition, certain entities that provide food will be required to donate their excess food to feed people.
The following materials are considered “organic waste”:
- Food waste: things like vegetables, fruits, meat, bones, fish, dairy, bread, rice, plate scrapings, spoiled food
- Yard waste: things like grass clippings, leaves, branches, flower trimmings, hedge trimmings, weeds
- Non-hazardous wood waste: things like unpainted, unstained, or untreated scrap wood
- Food-soiled paper waste: things like napkins, paper towels, paper plates and pizza boxes, coffee filters, wooden chopsticks
The problem with biodegradable and compostable plastic products:
Plates, bowls, cups, utensils, or other food service ware labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable” cannot be composted in the backyard or placed in curbside carts. Backyard compost piles are too small to reach high enough temperatures to break them down. If placed in curbside green carts, the industrial composting facilities that receive them cannot easily distinguish these products from conventional plastic products. They are screened out and sent to the landfill. Please choose reusable items whenever possible and place compostable plastic products in the garbage.
If you own a business or multi-family housing complex, you are required to divert organic materials from the landfill by:
- Subscribing to organics collection service in addition to garbage and recycling service or
- Self-hauling organic waste and recyclables to the Clover Flat Resource Recovery Park or another composting facility. Note: Records of this service MUST be maintained including weight tickets from the facility where the materials were delivered to.
- Providing organics and recycling containers to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers. There must be access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers.
- Providing indoor recycling and organics collection containers in all areas where a garbage container is located. The collection containers must conform to the color scheme: green for organics, blue for recycling, gray for garbage.
- Annually providing educational information to tenants and staff about the requirements to separate organics and recycling from the garbage. In addition, education must be provided on how to properly sort the three waste streams into correct containers. Please note, for new tenants, this information must be provided before or within 14 days of move-in.
- Prohibiting employees from placing organics in the garbage.
- Periodically inspecting the recycling and organics containers for contamination and if any is found, provide information/education to correct behavior.
- Our drivers and trained staff will be flipping lids & checking inside your containers. If they notice that the wrong materials have been placed in the carts, they will leave an “Oops” tag to help educate you to sort better the next time. Our goal is to help you sort better so we can keep resources out of the landfill and comply with the law. Contamination fees will be applied if the contamination continues.
- Certain entities that provide food are required to donate the maximum amount of excess edible food to feed people.
- Tier 1 commercial entities are required to comply starting January 1, 2022
- Grocery stores (with a total facility size 10,000 square feet or more)
- Food service providers (contracted)
- Food distributors
- Wholesale food vendors
- Tier 2 commercial entities are required to comply starting January 1, 2024
- Restaurants (with 250 seats or more, or 5,000 square feet or more)
- Hotels (with on-site food facility and 200 rooms or more)
- Health facilities (with onsite food facility and 100 or more beds)
- State agencies (with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats, or 5,000 square feet or more)
- Local education agencies (with an onsite food facility)
- Large venues and events
- A contract or written agreement must be maintained with food recovery service(s) or organization(s) to pick up or receive edible food.
- A record must also be kept indicating the types of food being donated, pounds donated per month, frequency of donations, and the contact information of the contracted food recovery service(s) and/ or organization(s).
- Large venues or large event operators that do not provide food services, but allow for food to be provided, shall require food facilities operating on site to comply with the above organics diversion and food recovery requirements
- Generators shall not intentionally spoil food that can be recovered.
- A model edible food recovery agreement can be found on CalRecycle’s website (scroll down to the “Model Tools” section)
- A list of food recovery services and organizations serving Napa County can be found on Napa Recycling and Waste Services website.
- It is permissible for residents and businesses to self haul.
- Residents and businesses must separate organic and recyclable materials from garbage and haul waste to a facility such as Clover Flat Resource Recovery Park.
- Businesses are required to keep records of receipts and weight tickets. CalRecycle has developed a recordkeeping tool for commercial self haulers (scroll down to “CalRecycle Recordkeeping Resources”)
- Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling have been composting at their facility south of St Helena since 1966.
- The material arrives at the facility and the loads are checked for contamination. Any materials that are not accepted in the composting program are removed. The material is then loaded into a large grinder and the pieces are blended and reduced to a size smaller than 3 inches. The cleaned and ground material is then placed into what’s called a Covered Aerated Static Pile system, CASP for short. A large plastic pipe with small holes is laid down and the fresh ground organic waste is piled onto of the pipe. One end of the pipe is capped and the other end of the pipe is linked to a large blower. The top of the pile is covered with finished compost and moistened with recycled water, reducing the impacts of odors from escaping while the organic waste breaks down into compost. Air is forced into the pipe daily for 45 days. Temperatures reach 140—155 degrees. After 45 days the organic material has cycled into compost. It is screened and large pieces and any missed contaminants is removed. Large wood pieces that might still be present are called overs, they are returned for another composting cycle.
- Finished Compost, five yard loads or greater are available at the composting facility, Monday-Friday 8AM-3:30PM. It can also be delivered to your home in smaller quantities, 3 cubic yards if accessible for our truck to access. It is also available at Harold Smith & Sons in St Helena and we do annual community give-a-ways. Please contact us for more information.
- We’re here to help you successfully comply with SB 1383, so we can divert organics from the landfill and reduce emissions!
- The Upper Valley Waste Management Agency provides interior recycling and compost containers to businesses, schools and multi-family dwellings committed to recycling and composting.
- You can also print out signs. Visit our Flyers & More page for more details and info.
- Onsite trainings are available from Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling and the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency. Contact us for more information.