California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Basics

FAQs About Green Material Used as Alternative Daily Cover (ADC)

  1. Question: Does this mean as of 2020 alternative daily cover (ADC) will no longer be counted as diversion for annual reporting? How does this impact cities for reporting and diversion requirements?

    Response: Commencing January 1, 2020, green material used as ADC will count as disposal. Other types of ADC will still count as diversion. Also, commencing with the year 2020, all green material used as ADC will be counted as disposal in a jurisdiction’s annual per capita disposal rate. As a result of this material counting as disposal, some jurisdictions may see an increase in their per capita disposal.

  2. Question: Will green waste used for erosion control receive diversion credit under AB 1594?

    Response: The approved use of green waste (material) as part of an erosion control strategy at a landfill would continue to be viewed as beneficial use and would not be counted as disposal.

  3. Question: What do I need to include in the 2018 Electronic Annual Report (EAR)?

    Response: Guidance will be provided to jurisdictions starting in spring 2017 and again in spring 2018 about what will need to be reported in the August 1, 2018, Electronic Annual Report that covers the 2017 reporting year. In the Electronic Annual Report each jurisdiction will outline its plans divert green material that is being used as ADC.

  4. Question: Our Jurisdiction does not report any green material being used as alternative daily cover, do we still need to submit a plan to deal with green material ADC in our annual report?

    Response: If the jurisdiction does not have any green material being reported as used for alternative daily cover, then it will not need to submit a plan in the Electronic Annual Report. However, this is an annual reporting requirement. So while a jurisdiction might not have green material used as ADC allocated to it in one year, it could have green material ADC in a subsequent year. If a jurisdiction fails to meet its per capita disposal requirement in 2020 as a result of green material ADC counting as disposal, during the good faith effort review process CalRecycle will consider whether or not the jurisdiction included any plans to address green material ADC in its EAR. As noted below the Electronic Annual Report will be programmed to identify if green material ADC has been allocated to the jurisdiction.

  5. Question: What are jurisdictions expected to include in their 2020 EAR?

    Response: Training and guidance will be provided to affected jurisdictions on what will be necessary to include in the annual report. Commencing with the August 1, 2021, Electronic Annual Report covering the 2020 reporting year, jurisdictions shall identify and address barriers to recycling green material. If sufficient capacity at facilities that recycle green material is not expected to be operational before the jurisdiction’s next review they are to include a plan to address those barriers that are within the control of the local jurisdiction. Information that the jurisdiction might provide in the Annual Report includes (Note: some of this information would be the same for reporting for AB 1826):

    • Were the barriers to recycling green material identified and addressed?
      • Are there adequate existing facilities to process green material within a reasonable vicinity?
      • Are there existing solid waste and organic waste recycling facilities within the jurisdiction that may be suitable for potential expansion or colocation of organic waste processing or recycling facilities? In what time frame could this be accomplished?
      • Are there efforts underway to develop new private or public regional organic waste recycling facilities and, if so, what is the anticipated timeline for completion of those facilities?
      • Are there other nondisposal opportunities or markets for green material (e.g., on-site composting, etc.)?
      • Are there appropriate zoning and permit requirements for the location of new or expanded organic waste recycling facilities to help with siting?
      • Are any local incentives available for developing new organic waste recycling facilities within the jurisdiction?
      • Have local or regional markets for recycled organic materials continually remained low or poor?
      • Are sufficient funds and staff available to implement programs?
      • Are there existing contractual or legal issues that need to be addressed that are a barrier to diverting green material that was being used as ADC?
      • What other considerations, including but not limited to market development obstacles, population density, waste generation rates, dominant waste generation categories and types, and geographic, demographic and economic factors, have affected the rural jurisdiction's ability to implement its commercial organics recycling program?
    • If sufficient capacity at facilities that recycle green material is not expected to be operational before the jurisdiction’s next review pursuant to Section 41825, what is the plan to address those barriers that are within the control of the local jurisdiction?
  6. Question: What if a jurisdiction falls below 50 percent diversion in 2020 because green material ADC counts as disposal?

    Response: If a jurisdiction does not meet its 50 percent per capita disposal target commencing January 1, 2020, as a result of not being able to claim diversion for the use of green material as ADC, then the jurisdiction will be required to provide information in the annual report that identifies and addresses barriers to recycling green material and a plan to address those barriers that are within the jurisdiction’s control (see FAQ #5 as well). CalRecycle will utilize this information in determining if the jurisdiction has made all reasonable and feasible efforts to implement relevant programs pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 41825. CalRecycle revised the Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan (CIWMP) Enforcement Policy, Part II to address criteria relevant to AB 1594 that CalRecycle will use when reviewing a jurisdiction’s compliance with the AB 939 requirements.

  7. Question: How will jurisdictions know if they are at risk of falling below 50 percent diversion because of green material alternative daily cover counting as disposal?

    Response: CalRecycle posted a report that identifies the following information for each jurisdiction (annual report year 2014): the amount of green material used as ADC, the current per capita disposal rate where ADC counts as diversion, what the per capita disposal rate would be if ADC counted as disposal, and if the jurisdiction would be over its 50 percent equivalent per capita target because of green material ADC counting as disposal. Starting with the 2017 Annual Report the disposal rate calculator will be programmed so that a jurisdiction can calculate its per capita disposal rate with green material used as ADC counted as disposal. Then commencing with the 2020 Annual Report the calculator will compute green material used as ADC as disposal in a jurisdiction’s annual per capita disposal rate.

  8. Question: Will a jurisdiction be subject to a compliance order if factors outside of the jurisdiction’s control contribute to an increase use of green material used as ADC, causing the jurisdiction to miss its disposal target?

    Response: Commencing with the 2020 Annual Report that will be submitted August 1, 2021, and then during the subsequent formal jurisdiction review cycles, CalRecycle will review each jurisdiction’s situation to determine if the jurisdiction adequately addressed the barriers that were within the jurisdiction’s control. If a jurisdiction is found not to have made a good faith effort then the jurisdiction may be placed on a Compliance Order.

  9. Question: Why do jurisdictions need to report on plans to address the use of green material ADC in 2018 if the law does not count it as disposal until 2020?

    Response: The intent of this reporting requirement in the law is to ensure that jurisdictions are planning in advance to address green material used as ADC. If a jurisdiction fails to meet its per capita disposal requirement in 2020 as a result of green material ADC counting as disposal, during the good faith effort review process CalRecycle will consider whether or not the jurisdiction included any plans to address green material ADC in its prior EARs.

  10. Question: Will MRF fines be considered green material ADC, and considered disposal?

    Response: Each waste derived material proposed to be used for ADC will need to evaluated by a Local Enforcement Agency to determine if it either meets a current regulatory definition of an ADC type or if the proposed material that must first go through a demonstration to show it can meet the performance criteria for daily cover. The initial evaluation by the local enforcement agency will examine if the material meets an existing ADC type including processed green material. It is not anticipated that fines resulting from the processing of mixed solid waste would be considered processed green material.

  11. Question: Will green material ADC be subject to the disposal tipping fee?

    Response: No. Pursuant to Public Resources Code 41781.3(2)(C) commencing January 1, 2020, green material used as alternative daily cover at a solid waste landfill is not subject to the fee imposed on disposed solid waste pursuant to Section 48000.

  12. Question: If green waste ADC is counted as disposal beginning January 1, 2020, then what forms of ADC will be allowed to count as diversion?

    Response: There are a number of materials that are have been approved by Local Enforcement Agencies to be used as ADC and count as diversion and many landfills. What materials can be used is specific to each landfill. Please contact the local enforcement agency to determine what material are approved as ADC for a particular landfill.

  13. Question: If a landscaper that services a multifamily dwelling is taking the dwelling’s green material to a landfill for ADC now, the multifamily dwelling currently would be in compliance with AB 1826 because ADC is considered diversion. After the year 2020, pursuant to AB 1594 when ADC is no longer considered as diversion, then the landscaper would have to take the green material to a facility (e.g., composting/AD) other than the landfill?

    Response: Correct, using green material as ADC is statutorily classified as disposal starting in 2020. So commencing in 2020 if the landscaper takes the green material to a landfill for use as ADC, or any other facility that would then take the material to a landfill, then the multifamily dwelling will not be recycling the green material as required. AB 1826 also requires covered businesses that contract for green material services to stipulate in the landscaping contract that the landscaper will recycle the green material it collects from the business/multifamily complex. The contract is required to stipulate that the green material will be recycled, so the landscaper would be breaching the contract if it takes the green to instead be used as ADC. If the landscaper is taking the material to a transfer station, which takes the green material to a landfill for ADC, the landscaper would need to take the material to another facility that recycles the green material.

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Last updated: September 28, 2015
Local Government Central http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LGCentral/ 
Local Assistance & Market Development: LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6199