Let’s Talk Trash

By:Councilman Will O'Neill

Nope, not what people do on Nextdoor. Actual trash. 

Trash has a pretty interesting history here in Orange County. For example, did you know that Newport Beach actually has its own decommissioned landfill? It’s called Coyote Canyon, is located near Newport Coast Drive and 73, and was operated from 1963-1990. (Now there is discussion about putting an executive golf course and housing on it.)

Anyway, today we’re going to talk about organic waste diversion. In 2016, Gov. Brown signed SB1383 (a bill with 2,831 words, more than 10x the Gettysburg Address). The overall goal was to reduce methane emissions by reducing organic waste (grass cuttings and food waste, etc.) disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.

With those goals in mind, the State bureaucracy went into overdrive. The agency in charge of administering SB1383 (the “CA Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery” or “CalRecycle”) issued 127 pages of regulations. Seriously. 127 pages of new regulations just interpreting SB1383. 

I’ll note briefly that there is no chance that I can cover all of the effects of the bill and its 127 pages of regulations in 2200 characters. So let me get to the part that will affect all of you.

Starting in 2022, all jurisdictions that collect waste (cities/counties/etc.) have to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses and recycle these organic materials.

Or, as an op ed in the Sacramento Bee put it, “California’s government has considered [the complexity of recycling] and decided that what it could use is more messiness and complexity.” 

Basically, it means that every household will now need to (1) get a new trash bin for organics recycling and (2) separate out waste into yet another trash bin.

This will lead to significant new expenses, new trash routes (and now more trash trucks on the road), and even a garbage pail for your kitchen. 

With this preface in place, I’ll explain on Wednesday how this is going to specifically change trash collection. My only ask is: don’t shoot the messenger.


* Sacramento Bee “New year, new garbage: Why California is counting on you to clean up another mess” https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article256882867.html

* SB1383 text – https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/…/billTextClient…

* OC Landfills explanation of SB1383 – https://oclandfills.com/sb1383

* Coyote Canyon – https://oclandfills.com/…/closed-landfill…/coyote-canyon

* CalRecycle – https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp

* California Globe “Californians Composting For Climate Change” https://californiaglobe.com/…/californians-composting…/

* Newport Beach trash & recycling – https://www.newportbeachca.gov/…/munici…/trash-recycling

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Councilman Will ONeill represents District 7 on the Newport Beach City Council.


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