San Diego Union-Tribune 6 April 2016: What
is excess food — waste or a resource? California aims to
re-characterize surplus food so that we see its value. Starting April 1,
state law began restricting organic material — food scrap and yard
trimmings — from going to landfills. At the heart of it, organic
material retains minerals and nutrients that were mined from our soil.
Once disposed in a landfill, those resources are lost, just as with
landfilled aluminum cans. Compounding this environmental concern,
organic material in our landfills generates copious amounts of
greenhouse gases. Instead of landfilling, organic material can be
recycled into a soil amendment through composting or into energy through
new legislation (AB 1826), California continues its progress toward
removing all recyclable material from our landfills. Businesses that
generate a large volume of organic material must make arrangements for
services to have it all recycled. But the San Diego region cannot comply
with this state law right now. We do not have the capacity to handle
all the material we generate — an estimated half million tons of organic
material each year. So while large food-generating businesses must
begin recycling their surplus food, most have no service to turn to.
25 years ago, California passed the nation’s landmark solid waste law,
the Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939), which sought to decrease
the amount of...read on.