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Awareness, support & policy change: Battling City of SD's monopolized food waste hauling

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OUR PROBLEM ***read, reach out, share***

The amendment to the San Diego Municipal Code for Franchise Haulers (SDMC 66.0109 D. (iii)) is scheduled for implementation on July 1st. The amendment will require that food waste can only be handled by franchise waste haulers in the City of San Diego. While recyclables have an exemption for small businesses that provide services under 1000 tons, food waste is not included in this exemption. Starting July, only franchise haulers can pick up food waste from City of San Diego's commercial market.

This means that enterprises like us, Closing the Loop, that pick up food waste from businesses for composting or other organics processing (spent grain from breweries for animal feed, etc) will no longer be able to operate in City of San Diego's commercial market and work with businesses that want to use our services. 

While City Council has already approved this municipal code amendment, it is now being reviewed again by the Environment Committee since a specialized hauler called RMG spoke against the amendment at the last Environment Committee on 4/13. We found out about this amendment after this committee meeting with a coalition we are working with. 

Key issues around this amendment 

1. This will wipe out small enterprises like Closing the Loop from operating in City of San Diego

2. It is inconsistent with state mandates and City of SD's CAP Goals: 
a) Aggressive state mandates (AB1826, SB1383) will require market-based innovation. 
b) CalRecycle recently exempted composting operations of less than 100 cubic yards and 750 square feet from requiring a state compost facility permit. 
c) Removing smaller operators from food waste collection will increase the GHG emissions from franchise haulers driving the food waste long distances (particularly since we lack infrastructure in SD). 

3. Insufficient Services for Generators: 
While the city’s franchised haulers and the City’s Miramar Greenery provide service for some of the City’s 100+ restaurants and food producing businesses, they do not provide service that meets the needs of many small food waste generators. Price points for organics services will be too high for small generators to consider. 

4. Process lacked effective outreach and due process for stakeholders
The City of San Diego conducted extensive outreach for the Zero Waste Plan, but the proposed restrictions on food waste were not apparent to those working specifically on organics. 
- Neither the City Council Agenda (10/4/2016), nor the Executive Summary (2/25/16) states or mentions “food”, “food waste” or “organics.”
- Executive Summary states that stakeholders were informed of changes through the Zero Waste scoping process, one-on-one meetings, and direct notification to appropriate stakeholders. Several groups working on organics that were involved with the Zero Waste scoping process were not aware of this amendment. 

ASK
Delay implementation until Council is able to consider:
Convening organics stakeholders including those interested in offering community scale solutions to determine code changes that will enable organics marketplace to flourish as well as developing common sense, reasonable regulations and monitoring mechanisms. We also recommend the City to develop an integrated organics management plan aligned with "highest and best use" of organics to effectively meet CAP goals.

 
Letters should be sent to the Environment Committee

Councilmember David Alvarez, Chair
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Councilmember Chris Cate, Vice Chair 
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Councilmember Chris Ward 
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Councilmember Scott Sherman
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

For reference on this issue, check out recording of RMG and City of San Diego Environmental Services Department's presentation at Environment Committee from 4/13

ITEM-5: Review informational update from the Environmental Services Department regarding IMPLEMENTATION OF SAN DIEGO MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS RELATING TO THE RECYCLABLE MATERIAL FRANCHISE EXCLUSION; AND REVISIONS TO AB 939 FEE COLLECTION, EFFECTIVE JULY 1

http://granicus.sandiego.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=51&clip_id=6943



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