FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – SB-1383 means to reduce organic matter in landfills requires homes and businesses to separate food scrap waste for composting.

State Legislators decided cities like Fresno may obtain extensions while changes are implemented.  For Fresno, it may take a year or more to overhaul transportation systems, negotiate new contracts with service providers, and change city legal ordinances.  

Food scraps are easily recycled into compost.  Right now, they make a large part of waste buried in landfills, generating disproportionately higher amounts of pollution like methane gas.

Composting allows a fuller decomposition with benefits like less pollution, less landfill waste, and rich healthy soil. 

Mid Valley Disposal owner Joseph Kalpakoff says adding food waste to the yard waste stream actually makes for a more ideal composting process.

“You have a green waste cart at home so we’re educating and teaching the community that they can put those food scraps that would have normally gone in their garbage bin and mix it in their green waste,” explained Kalpakhoff. “It can go to facilities like ours that take a mixed stream and we can make compost and put it back in the soil.”

Mid Valley Disposal’s Composting Facility in Kerman is already processing residential food waste from green bins.  Soon, local hardware stores will be selling the compost as “Kerman’s Best.”

For a city like Fresno, changes will take a while to implement. 

“There’s also the issue of apartment complexes which right now do not have green waste bins.  So that is something we’re going to have to address in the plan that we’re working on,” said Assistant City Manager Georgeanne White. And that’s just the beginning. 

“The first step we need to do is go in and amend all of our ordinances that right now don’t allow organics to be mixed with green waste. So that’s going to be coming to the council in February,” explained White. “And once that is adopted, then we will begin negotiating our contracts with our vendors who pick up these, this food waste and the green waste to allow them to be able to take the organics along with the green list.”

The final step is a public information campaign to show exactly what should then go in each color waste cart.  White says that may be a year away.