California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Organic Materials Management

Stakeholder Workshops: Strategic Directive 8.3--Alternative Daily Cover, Food Waste Composting, and Anaerobic Digestion

Status | History | Materials | Comments | Workshops

California Integrated Waste Management Board (Board) now known as CalRecycle Strategic Directive 8.3 requires an ongoing review and analysis of regulations in light of current science, market issues, and applicable technologies. CalRecycle has identified several priority areas to focus on. Alternative daily cover, food waste composting and anaerobic digestion were the first three SD 8.3 topics studied by the Board. Please visit our SD 8.3 regulatory review page for the latest information on all of the topics being reviewed.


A discussion and request for direction on the regulation reviews of alternative daily cover and food/green waste composting was presented to CalRecycle's Strategic Policy Development Committee on October 6, 2009, and as a consent item at CalRecycle meeting on October 14, 2009. White papers on each of the topics were presented as discussion items to the Committee and were finalized shortly after the CalRecycle meeting. CalRecycle approved the following staff recommendations, which will be implemented in approximately 16-20 months, depending on available resources and stakeholder assistance:

Alternative Daily Cover

  • Develop standardized guidance on how to evaluate the ability of ADC to control odors, vectors, litter, fire, and scavenging, as well as the effect on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Develop best practices for ADC regulatory inspection methodology
  • Continue monitoring the life cycle assessment of organic materials in landfills
  • Evaluate the economic impact of green material ADC on the composting industry
  • Continue to monitor the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s approach to regulating treated auto shredder waste
  • Do not address the difference in green material definitions at this time

Food Waste Composting

  • Change the definition of food material in regulation
  • Research and provide Best Management Practices (BMPs) guidance for composting green material and food material to reduce odors, vectors, litter, air emissions, and water quality impacts as well as product safety
  • Link BMPs for composting green material and food material to permit tiers
  • Continue to monitor and support future studies on handling food materials with green materials to reduce odors, vectors, air emissions, and water quality impacts
  • CalRecycle provides Best Management Practices training on food waste composting in partnership with stakeholders to protect the environment and improve compost safety

Results from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo research study on the three-part test are due in December 2009. That study will form the basis of a white paper that will be posted and available for public comment through workshops.

White papers on farm and ranch composting and beneficial use will be presented at a later date.


In June 2009, Board staff completed the first two draft papers on alternative daily cover and food waste composting, and a guidance document on the emerging technology of anaerobic digestion. Stakeholders were invited to provide input on the documents at two webinar workshops held in Sacramento on July 28, 2009 and Riverside on August 13, 2009. The documents were posted before the workshops for public review. Comments were accepted until August 19, 2009.

Workshop Materials

White Papers and Guidance Document

These reports have been prepared by staff of CalRecycle for review by local enforcement agencies, solid waste facility operators, waste management consultants and other industry stakeholders and are posted as draft reference material for discussion purposes only. The Board does not discriminate on the basis of disability in access to its programs. CalRecycle publications are available in accessible formats upon request by calling the Public Affairs Office at (916) 341-6300. Persons with hearing impairments can reach CalRecycle through the California Relay Service, 1 (800) 735-2929.


The following was developed under the auspices of CalRecycle for specific workshop presentations and is posted as a reference document for the local enforcement agencies, solid waste facility operators, waste management consultants and other industry stakeholders who attended one of the workshops. It is not intended to stand alone as informational or training materials. If you require assistance in obtaining access to the presentations, call the Public Affairs Office at (916) 341-6300 or Ken Decio.


Stakeholder comments were accepted until August 19, and were received during the question and answer session at each workshop and via email, and letter.


Strategic Directive 8.3 Workshops were held in Sacramento and Riverside with live and webinar participants.

  • July 28, 2009
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
    CalEPA Headquarters, Sacramento
  • August 13, 2009
    9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
    CalRecycle Riverside Office

Please contact Ken Decio if you have questions.

Organics Events

Last updated: November 5, 2009
Organic Materials Management