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Tuolumne County Receives Five Year Exemption On Food Recycling Law

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Sonora, CA — California has a new recycling directive requiring that the amount of organic waste currently going to landfills be reduced by 75-percent by 2025, and also that 20-percent of edible food that is currently thrown out be recovered for human consumption.

The legislation’s main argument is that by requiring people to separate food from trash, and promoting composting, it will reduce carbon emissions. It is going to take a lot of time and money to implement the program, and Tuolumne County received word that it successfully received a five-year rural county exemption from several of the aspects.

It temporarily avoids things like needing organic waste collection bins for all residents and businesses, organic waste container sampling and monitoring, and capacity planning for organic waste processing facilities.

Members of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors this morning praised the end goal of encouraging composting, but were notably upset that the state is not funding the program’s implementation.

District Two Supervisor Ryan Campbell stated, “I can hear it five years from now when community members are going to be asking about why the county is spending all of this energy changing how waste is collected, when we are not paving the roads or buying new fire engines. This represents another unfunded state mandate.”

District Four Supervisor Kathleen Haff added that she is concerned that the un-funded directive will include requirements like record keeping, education and implementation. Without state money, she argues, “C’mon, this is unacceptable.”

County staff will need to make preparations over the coming years to fully implement the program once the exemption expires.