Businesses and local governments would be required to recycle their organic waste under a bill now in the state legislature. Supporters say that would reduce methane emissions, which contribute to climate change.
Environmental groups say methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas pollutant than carbon.
Democratic Assemblyman Wes Chesbro says recycling would not only get methane generating organics out of the state’s landfills, but would put the waste to good use.
“It can be turned into clean fuel, which further helps with our climate change fight and it can also be turned into compost, which is very very useful for our farmers and gardeners,” he says.
Organic waste makes up about one-third of the material found in California land-fills.
Critics of the bill say cash-strapped local jurisdictions would have to pay for their own organic waste recycling programs. The critics also say trucking the material to organic waste recycling facilities miles away would create new greenhouse gas emissions. The Senate has approved the measure. It now goes back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.