California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA Roundtables

Meeting Notes: January/February 2012


Winter Roundtables (RT) were conducted in January/February 2012 throughout the state in five venues: Madera, Sacramento, Martinez, Redding and Palm Desert. Venues for each RT rotate throughout the state during the Winter-Spring-Fall RTs. The agenda for each venue identifies issues of regional concern. Each RT meeting has a Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) Chair, selected by the LEAs within the region. This individual also represents the region on the Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC). The collection of these notes summarizes some of the dialogue occurring at the RTs and may paraphrase a number of concerns or recommendations of LEA staff in attendance. To make information available on issues with statewide implications CalRecycle will post these meeting notes on our web site, and, as needed, include follow-up information about activities to resolve or clarify issues. This series of RTs were attended by eighty-three (83) LEA representatives, which represented sixty-seven percent (67%) or thirty-nine (39) jurisdictions throughout California.

Five-Year Permit Review Process

The Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC) at its December 2011 meeting adopted Resolution 2011-04 to address their concerns about Five-year Permit Reviews. The resolution was sent to the Chair of the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, Solid Waste Policy Committee. The EAC considered issues and concerns from LEAs throughout the state and developed the following recommendations to improve the current process:

  1.  Whenever a permit revision or modification process is at least as thorough as that required for a standalone 5-year permit review, allow the LEA to reset the due date for the next permit review;
  2. Allow permit revisions during a standalone 5-year permit review;
  3. Work with CalRecycle to identify and suggest changes to statute, regulations, and/or CalRecycle guidance so that these are consistent with current practice implemented by many LEAs;
  4. A workshop for industry and other interested parties is recommended to allow for their input, particularly if all parties find a need to change to statute, regulations, or advisories.

The California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, Solid Waste Policy Committee recommended workshops on the issues. CalRecycle management concurred and will schedule a future workshop on this topic.

Questions? Contact the Permitting and Inspection (P&I) staff liaison for your jurisdiction.

Local Enforcement Agency Permit Conditions and Fees

It was reported that the EAC considered but voted not to adopt a resolution that recommended that LEAs can include Permit Conditions requiring fees.

Draft Regulatory Revisions to Title 14 and 27

The first series of workshops regarding compost regulations resulted in feedback from stakeholders. Twelve topics were identified, and to better manage time and resources, the scope was narrowed at subsequent meetings to three subjects: Food Waste Definition, Objective Method for Establishing a Baseline on Odor and Land Application of Organics. CalRecycle scheduled workshops for February 9, 2012 in Chino and February 21, 2012 in Sacramento. Below is a sample of opinions expressed at the RTs by region:

  • North Central Region: No notes on discussion.
  • South Central Region: No notes taken during discussion.
  • Bay Area Region: Food too contaminated; enclosed system seems appropriate for food; more flexibility is needed; one percent (1%) is un-measurable concept in the field; asking for problems with rodents, vectors and odors. Need permit structure that is more functional; food waste is a food product.
  • Northern Region: Measurability of food waste challenging; need definition levels of food waste; put limit on percentage of food waste; change language from on-site and include off-site; possibly reduce amount of food waste to tonnage; allow small scale composting, 500 cubic yards or less may include ten percent (10%) food waste onsite.
  • Southern and South Western Region: Problems seem to appear in EA Notification Tier; lowering food waste to the EA Tier opening up problems with bag breaks, odor and liquid from food waste; identify waste streams that can be added to green waste; define food waste into classifications such as A, B, C, D, E; agriculture waste if we open up to food waste will create problem down the road not set up for food waste, no screening process; look at safety of compost that’s been processed with food waste; how would we track meat waste that’s been composted?

Caltrans Sites

Attendees requested clarity for the handling of various types of sites operated by Caltrans including several comments on permitting and LEA involvement:

  • North Central Region: Some jurisdictions not regulating Caltrans sites due to small size; identified volumes at some sites are negligible; sites recycling sand for wet weather didn’t warrant involvement.
  • South Central Region: No notes taken during session.
  • Bay Area Region: Sites are mainly small; U.S. EPA is telling Caltrans to contact LEAs; Caltrans is not in the garbage collection business. Move issue up to Enforcement Advisory Council (EAC).
  • Northern Region: Counties do not want to discourage agencies from picking up trash; transfer operations need a permit; sites at some location have four bins; trash is in a covered bin; the maintenance yard was a limited process now it’s under Enforcement Agency Notification; Caltrans sites are not a health and safety issue; does the Forest Service have to participate in the permit process?
  • Southern and South Western Region: Caltrans sites sometimes locked, require we make an appointment; load checking; some Caltrans sites have inadequate reporting; decanting sites and level of LEA’s responsibility; quantity of waste is less than what is generated at big box store; resource intensive at remote locations; one Caltrans site had green waste sitting there for months, the amount of waste would qualify them under Enforcement Agency Notification; Caltrans and U.S. EPA may need to look at issue together.

As a result of questions raised regarding interpretation of regulations and the LEA’s role and responsibility addressing various Caltrans sites across the state, CalRecycle includes the links below to assist LEAs with interpreting regulations governing Caltrans sites within their region:

Construction and Demolition and Inert Debris Transfer/Processing Regulations (Title 14, Chapter 3, Article 5.9, Sections 17380-17383.1)

Construction, Demolition, and Inert Debris: Regulations Implementation Guidance for LEAs

Proposed Legislation

CalRecycle provided updates and status on several 2011-2012 Assembly and Senate bills. The following is a recap of the updates: AB 341 (Chesbro) “Solid Waste Diversion” was chaptered in October 2011. It is now a policy goal for the state that not less than 75% of solid waste generated be source reduced, recycled or composted by the year 2020; AB 34 (Williams) “Solid waste compost facility: odor” died in committee; AB 1178 (Ma) “Solid waste: place of origin” is currently in the Senate.

LEA Training Master Schedule

CalRecycle delivered one hour of training to LEAs titled “Home Generated Sharps Disposal” which provided one contact hour of credit in the form of a Continued Education Unit (CEU).

CalRecycle staff member Mr. Burke Lucy, Integrated Waste Management Specialist from the Materials Management and Local Assistance Division was the instructor, and specializes in sharps, pharmaceutical and battery waste. Mr. Lucy is responsible for educating the public on proper sharps disposal and for analyzing model pharmaceutical collection programs throughout California. Before joining CalRecycle, he worked for more than 17 years in the private sector primarily with government agencies, culminating in writing environmental impact reports for a variety of projects including landfills and recycling centers. Highlights of the sharps training included:

  • Sharps banned from trash in 2008.
  • Sharps considered medical waste once consolidated (Health & Safety Code 117690).
  • Sharps treatment include: Autoclaved, Incinerated, and Alternative Treatments.
  • Needle destruction devices are not regulated unless they are mailed out of state.
  • United States generated 7.8 billion needles - California generated 936 million needles.
  • CalRecycle efforts: Brochures, Mailers, Posters, and tracking of Sharps Collection Sites.
  • “Disintegrator” only destruction device approved by FDA for use by self-injectors.
  • Fiscal Year 11/12 Mandates for Senate Bill (SB) 486 have been met by CalRecycle.

Other training topics: CalRecycle will host a Technical Training Series in Sacramento, California at the Sacramento Convention Center November 5 through November 8, 2012. CalRecycle established a Steering Committee of stakeholders that will identify sessions and topic goals for the event. Additionally, CalRecycle will develop state minimum standards training on odor, with phase I of the training conducted through an online workbook. (Training on Odor Management is likely to be released in late spring 2012.)

Ralph Hunter Award Nominations:

The purpose of the Ralph Hunter Award is to recognize a LEA individual who has made a major impact to the LEA/solid waste field by development of a special or new program, involvement with educational activities, involvement on committees and/or workgroups, involvement in the permitting and/or enforcement process, or any special achievement which enhances the delivery of protecting the public health and other environmental health principles through the LEA/EA program. The award was proposed by Greg Pirie of the Napa County LEA and is named to honor the late Ralph Hunter, former Director of the Napa County LEA Program. LEAs throughout the state can select nominees for the award by submitting applications (PDF | Excel) to the EAC. The EAC reviews the applications received using the criteria specified in the eligibility information and selects the award winner on an annual basis. The Chair of the EAC presents the award each year at the annual LEA/Board partnership conference. Nominations forms were handed out at the RTs and are also available on line.
(William Prinz, LEA for the City of San Diego was selected by the EAC as the 2011 recipient of this award in March 2012)

Questions? Contact the RT Chair for your Roundtable venue.

Meet the Executive Team: CalRecycle

Changes in CalRecycle management were shared at each of the RTs. Caroll Mortensen, appointed as the new Director for CalRecycle, has a long history working in the environmental field, and at one point worked as a student assistant for the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Scott Smithline is the Assistant Director over Policy and Planning. Mark de Bie is the Deputy Director over the Waste Permitting Compliance and Mitigation Division, prior to this he was the Chief of the Permitting and Assistance Branch for four years. 

Please note: Past meeting agendas and notes are retained for historical purposes. Over time, some information and links on these pages may become dated and/or inaccurate.

Last updated: April 11, 2012
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