Food for Thought
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
by: Chris Luiszer, Waste Management

Section: Trends and Tips

We’ve all been there before- you bring home some leftovers with the intention of finishing them tomorrow at lunch. A week later, you find them in the back corner of your fridge, hidden behind a gallon of milk. You toss the leftovers into the trash and off they go to the dump, never to be seen again. What most people don’t realize is the sheer volume of food waste that is being thrown away and the negative effect it is having on our environment.
Currently, food waste accounts for close to 30% of the waste going into our landfills. As the layers of material accumulate above the food waste, it creates an anaerobic environment (no oxygen present). When this happens, the food breaks down creating methane gas, which is more destructive to our environment than most other greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.
In order to address this growing problem, the state of California passed AB 1826 which will make food waste recycling mandatory. What does this mean for property managers? Starting in 2016 properties creating 8 cubic yards of food waste per week will be required to participate in food waste recycling. Each year thereafter, the threshold will continue to lower, until 2020 when nearly all commercial properties will be required to participate in food waste recycling. This means additional bins both inside and out of the building. So, if you’re planning on doing any remodeling or renovating in the next few years, keep this in mind and complying with AB 1826 should be a piece of cake- that hopefully you’ll be able to recycle if you don’t finish.

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