California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Organic Materials Management

Increasing Siting and Capacity of Organic Diversion Facilities


In February 2007, the CIWMB (now known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle) adopted Strategic Directive (SD) 6.1, which calls for a 50 percent reduction in the amount of organics being disposed in landfills by 2020. In December 2007, CalRecycle directed staff to implement the Organics Roadmap. The Roadmap, a schedule of initial activities for implementing SD 6.1, includes working with stakeholders to identify actions CalRecycle could take to increase siting and capacity of organic diversion facilities.

Working With Stakeholders

CalRecycle staff sought input from a wide range of stakeholders to better understand barriers associated with the siting of organic diversion facilities as well as possible solutions. This included owners/operators of organic diversion facilities and/or solid waste facilities, local planning departments, local government representatives, public works departments, solid waste authorities, utilities, local enforcement agencies, local recycling coordinators, Market Development Zone administrators, air districts, regional water quality control boards, consultants, industry representatives, USEPA, universities, and environmental organizations.

The first step in gathering stakeholder input was to conduct an online survey to identify the major barriers to siting or expanding organic diversion facilities. In developing the survey model, staff listed barriers identified by stakeholders from CalRecycle-sponsored Biofuels Forum , held on March 28, 2007, and Organics Summit held on October 10, 2007. The survey was emailed to more than 4,000 stakeholders and more than 250 took the survey.

Next, staff conducted 50 in-depth interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers and to identify what specific actions CalRecycle could take to overcome them. Input from the interviews was compiled into a worksheet, which was used as the point of discussion at two workshops. One workshop was held in San Diego on April 16, 2008 at the BioCycle Conference, the other in Sacramento on April 23, 2008. Altogether more than 70 stakeholders attended the workshops.

At the workshops, participants were asked to identify key solutions/actions CalRecycle could take to overcome barriers. A preliminary list of key solutions was pulled together by staff from notes recorded at the workshops. This information was presented as a discussion item at the CalRecycle’s May 12, 2008, Permitting and Compliance Committee meeting.

Identifying Proposed Actions

To further refine the preliminary list of key solutions/actions, staff completed a high-level review of the solutions/actions, asking questions, such as:

  • “What is the desired outcome?”
  • “What could CalRecycle and its staff do?”
  • “How would CalRecycle interact with other agencies?”
  • “What is CalRecycle doing already and what would be a new initiative?”

From this process, staff identified eight outcomes that if realized should result in reducing barriers to siting/expansion. These options were presented to CalRecycle’s Strategic Policy Development Committee on June 10, 2008 (Committee agenda item provided on the June 17, 2008 Board meeting agenda as Agenda Item 11). Because many of the options represent very large, new initiatives, staff focused the on approaches and steps that staff is already working on, could be incorporated into ongoing efforts, or phased in slowly.

The Policy Committee indicated initial agreement with the approaches and steps outlined at the meeting, and directed staff to move ahead on all eight options and further refine what action could be taken by CalRecycle staff. Staff is then to report back to CalRecycle before the end of 2008 through the Organics Roadmap, proposing a schedule of activities that could be taken to increase siting and capacity of organic diversion facilities.

Last updated: September 24, 2012
Organic Materials Management