“Study on Other States’ Regulatory Oversight of Waste and Material Handling Activities Relative to Recycling Centers, Transfer Stations, and Green Material Contamination” by Cal Poly
Scope • Strategic Directive 8.3: review regulations to ensure that they are based on the best available science, address changing market conditions, and take advantage of developing technologies • Objective: support staff-driven review by providing analyses of waste and material handling regulations of other states, as related the 3-Part Test and green material contamination in California • Outcomes: detailed description and analysis of other state models, best management practices, and recommendations on models and methods that can be adapted to California.
Scope of Work • Compile database of recycling and composting regulations in other states • Conduct survey of other states’ regulatory framework • Conduct site visits to California recycling and compost facilities • Conduct interviews with various state regulators, LEA representatives, and operators
Survey Content • Waste statistics • Regulatory details • Numerical thresholds • Integration of science • Outgoing material properties • Legislative status of regulations
Selected States for Detailed Analysis • 9 selected states for recycling: Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Washington • 7 selected states for composting: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Texas
Regulatory Framework in Other States • Majority of states regulate recycling and composting facilities • Generally under the umbrella of solid waste regulations • Three levels of regulation: not regulated, fully regulated, partially regulated • The level of regulation is generally based on type and size of operation • No model based on science, market conditions, or technology
General findings of other State programs • Allowable residual contents 5-25% • Some models are similar and some more stringent than 3-Part Test • No state was found to have a numerical threshold for putrescibles • Generalized qualitative descriptions for environmental protection and health risks • Material outflow monitored in some states – more common for compost than recyclables
Site visits were made to recycling facilities and composting facilities in California • Facilities with permits and temporary permits 12 MRFs and 9 composting facilities • Large and small operations • Rural and urban facilities
Report Findings • Scientific basis and risk analysis not present in development of regulations • Thresholds and tier levels established arbitrarily with qualitative descriptions for protection of environment and public health and safety • Public awareness and education is key to improving recycling operations • Large, permitted operations were most efficient and seemingly most environmentally sound • Vicinity to community should be considered in relation to providing buffer zone or indoor operations • Streamlined regulations and enforcement needed
Report Recommendations 15 recommendations regarding 3-Part Test and recycling/transfer station regulations • Use absolute threshold for residual instead of percentages • Use weight basis for measure material quantities • Limit time for storage of putrescibles instead of threshold 16 recommendations regarding Green Material Contamination and composting regulations • Keep 1% contamination threshold
Report Recommendations Additional recommendations includes: • Standardized test procedures • Consolidate into a single agency • Improve clarity of regulations, and • Develop a stronger scientific and risk basis for numerical regulatory thresholds
CalRecycle Staff Assessment of the Recommendations Categories of Responses: • Report recommendations and supporting analysis that are directly related to the Three Part Test and can be used to inform the discussions as part of the SD 8.3 effort; (4 recommendations) • Report recommendations and supporting analysis that are directly related to the management of green material contamination and can be used to inform the discussions as part of the SD 8.3 effort; (5 recommendations) • Report recommendations and supporting analysis that have other applications outside of the current regulation review process, and may warrant consideration in the future, but not as part of the current focus of SD 8.3; (6 recommendations) • Report recommendations and analysis that require more analysis and may extend beyond current Departmental responsibilities; (16 recommendations)
CalRecycle Staff Assessment of the Report Recommendations CalRecycle staff assessment of the utility of the recommendations • Recommendations are much broader than green material handling requirements and would need to be evaluated relative to the universe of solid waste regulatory requirements. Recommendations could be utilized at some time in the future when larger scale adjustments of CalRecycle responsibilities might be considered.