Food Scraps Diversion in the City of Los Angeles

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1 Food Scraps Diversion in the City of Los Angeles A Presentation at Moving Forward on Commercial Food Scraps Diversion Southern California Policies and Processes Workshop By Alexander E. Helou, P.E. Assistant Director City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation August 14, 2014

2 Background City of Los Angeles has over 8,000 restaurants or Food Service Establishments (FSE). Many FSEs had a common practice of disposing their food waste into the City sewer system. FOG (fats, oil, and grease) causes sewer blockages and sewer spills.

3 Los Angeles Industrial Waste Control Ordinance: Enacted on 6/19/2001. The use of garbage grinders to discharge food waste from commercial kitchens, markets, or food plants to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) is prohibited unless expressly allowed by the Director. FSEs required to implement Best Management Practice Plans, including placing all organic waste in the trash, in-lieu of the in-sink grinder.

4 State and Local Mandates: AB 939: mandated landfill diversion. AB 32: Landfill Methane Control Measure (Discrete Early Action) CalRecycle: 30% of landfilled waste is compostable organic materials. Landfills release the majority of anthropogenic methane in CA. AB 341: Mandatory Multi family recycling that include moving organics out of landfills. City of Los Angeles: currently at 76.4% diversion and moving toward zero waste through reduction of tonnage to landfills increase beneficial use of organic materials in the waste stream (e.g., food waste composting).

5 Commercial Food Waste Diversion (Pilot Program) Launched in Food waste was picked up from FSE by contracted private waste haulers and delivered to composting facilities. Food waste was mixed with green waste and composted. The final product was a high quality soil amendment sold to local growers. On average, participating restaurants were diverting about three tons of organic waste per month.

6 Food Waste Diversion: Waste Accepted: All organic materials, including: Produce Meats, bones, shells and skin Dairy products Food cartons & waxed cardboard Bread, coffee grounds, etc. Soiled paper products Plant trimmings, etc. Waste Rejected: All nonbiodegradable materials, including: Plastic products Glass products Metal products Styrofoam, etc.

7 Food Waste Diversion: Discard food waste into separate containers for composting Ban on use of in sink garbage disposer

8 Food Waste Diversion: Collection Operation

9 Food Waste Diversion (Expanded Program): Implemented City-Wide in Goal: at least 200 FSEs were to be recruited to participate from each collection zone. Two private waste haulers were awarded to collect food waste from selected waste sheds: Crown Disposal: East Valley and West Valley, and Athens Services: North Central, West Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and Harbor.

10 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling (A Waste Hauler Recycling Rebate Program): Implemented in May Available to all permitted waste haulers: A voluntary program Training is offered, in multi-languages, to FSE employees FSE is required to source separate organic (food) waste FSE must also have a separate trash collection service Collection frequency as often as 6 days per week Collected organic waste is required to be taken to a City certified processor of food waste.

11 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling (A Waste Hauler Recycling Rebate Program): Food Waste Rebate: $65/ton recycled (from 5/1/2010 to 4/30/2011) $55/ton (from 5/1/2011 to 4/30/2012) $45/ton (from 5/1/2012 to 4/30/2013) $35/ton ( From 5/1/2013 Current * ) * Effective January 2013 the food waste rebate amount claimed by each permitted private solid waste hauler is limited to $75,000 per quarter. To be eligible for the rebate, food waste must be source-separated.

12 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling (A Waste Hauler Recycling Rebate Program): Certified Food Waste Processors**: Company Mixed Food Waste Recycling Rate* Waste Management 83.09% Community Recycling 85.00% Athens Services 83.79% ** As of August 2014

13 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling (A Waste Hauler Recycle Rebate Program): Permitted Waste Haulers Receiving Rebates for Food Waste Collection:* Athens Consolidated Crown Disposal Waste Management Southland Disposal * As of August 2014

14 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling Program: Results: Total # of FSEs participating: 850 Total # of permitted waste haulers in program: 5 Total # of certified food waste processors in program: 3 Total food waste tonnage diverted to date: Average monthly food waste diversion per FSE: 262,000 tons 4-5 tons

15 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling Program: Lessons Learned: Limited number of local composting facilities Unwillingness of haulers to establish additional collection routes (higher costs, lower profit margins, lack of adequate participating FSEs) Composting facilities under stringent regulatory requirements Owners have difficulties in permitting composting facilities Unwillingness of FSEs to participate: Limited space on the premises for separate food waste storage Unwillingness to pay higher costs for food waste recycling

16 Restaurant Food Waste Recycling Program: Other Challenges: Contamination (plastics, glass, metals, styrofoam and other non-biodegradables) Language barrier Long-term contracts by FSE with existing waste haulers. Opportunities: Instead of being composted, food waste might be treated via anaerobic digestion for renewable energy production Biogas from AD of food waste can be used to power collection vehicles; thereby lessening reliance on fossil fuels and GHG emissions

17 Zero Waste LA Franchise Collection System - The City s solid waste management program includes residential curbside collection service (LASAN) and commercial and multi-family collection services (permitted private haulers) - For commercial and multi-family collection service, the City is moving towards a franchise system for private haulers to: Increase efficient routing Reduce truck traffic Reduce vehicle emissions (clean fuel vehicles) and traffic noise Increase diversion of organics In April 2013, the Los Angeles City Mayor and Council approved the Franchise Collection System which will be implemented in 2017.

18 For more information, please contact: Alexander E. Helou, P.E. Assistant Director City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation 1149 S. Broadway, Suite 900 Los Angeles, CA

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