California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Solid Waste Facilities, Sites and Operations

Compostable Materials

Compostable materials make up well over one-third of most jurisdictions' waste streams. State mandated diversion requirements have resulted in an increasing number of compostable material processing operations. An increased reliance on composting, chipping and grinding, and other compostable material processing operations is expected in order to meet State-mandated diversion goals.

To assist local enforcement agencies and facility operators with compostable materials management issues, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has developed resources for local enforcement agencies (LEA) and facility operators on compostable materials management. These include:

Current Initiatives

Staff implemented a regulatory review as part of Strategic Directive 8.3, which included an in-depth look at appropriate contamination levels in green material, food waste permits, agricultural composting, odors and other concerns at compostable materials processing operations. CalRecycle staff developed white papers on the following topics: 

From 2011-2014, feedback was solicited on 14 compostable material handling issues and potential approaches for addressing these issues. Based on this feedback, CalRecycle staff then developed draft text to revise the compostable materials handling regulations. The revision of existing Title 14 and Title 27 regulations addresses compostable materials, transfer/processing, permit application form, and permit exemptions. The Director initiated formal rulemaking for the “Proposed Compostable Materials Handling and In-Vessel Digestion Regulations” in October 2013. CalRecycle initiated the formal rulemaking process on October 10, 2014, and the 45-day written comment period closed on December 5, 2014.  

Additional Guidance

CalRecycle staff has also developed an Organic Materials Management Web site where you'll find the Organics Toolbox for jurisdiction's diversion and information on compost, mulch, grasscycling, and other topics related to the management and use of organic resources.

Last updated: January 14, 2015
Compostable Materials,
Ken Decio: (916) 341-6313