In 2016, Senate Bill (SB) 1383 set methane reduction targets for California in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The two targets set for 2025 are (1) to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% and (2) to rescue at least 20% of currently disposed of surplus food for people to eat, also known as "Edible Food Recovery". While the rulemaking for these targets was not approved until November of 2020, County Integrated Waste Management Division (IWM) staff began working on SB 1383 Edible Food Recovery in December of 2019, defining the requirements of the new regulations. IWM worked closely with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to narrow down the list of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators that will be required to participate in Edible Food Recovery on January 1, 2022, and January 1, 2024, respectively. While staff acknowledges that there is a high need for serving those that are food insecure, addressing this need should be a part of a larger and separate conversation from SB 1383 compliance. SB 1383 is aimed first at waste diversion and methane reduction, with the benefit of feeding people, second. Therefore, IWM staff has prepared recommendations that outline specifically, what the County is required to do, and fund, under these new regulations.
In developing these recommendations, IWM staff has worked with staff from the City of Davis, City of West Sacramento, City of Winters, and the City of Woodland and have reached an agreement on the recommended actions and funding allocations for year one of SB 1383 Edible Food Recovery requirements. Additionally, IWM hired Edgar and Associates to manage the preparation of an Edible Food Recovery Capacity Study (Attachment A) which included the work of two additional consultants: Total Compliance Management (TCM) and Abound Food Care. The consultants' work included engagement with the Yolo Food Bank (YFB) and 29 other food recovery organizations in Yolo County, as well as various Tier 1 and Tier 2 generators. Staff also hosted a stakeholder meeting on August 25, 2021, to engage the Tier 1 generators in this process, each of which will be required to comply with this portion of the regulations. Attachments B, C, D & E are a sampling of the information staff handed out and presented at that stakeholder meeting to assist these Yolo County businesses in gaining compliance by January 1, 2022. In an effort to be ahead of the rollout, IWM worked with Yolo County Environmental Health to develop an inspection checklist and review protocol that will be needed to ensure food is recovered in a safe manner. Lastly, each step of this process has been reviewed by our regulator and author of the SB 1383 rulemaking, CalRecycle.
Yolo County also has a long history of partnership with the YFB where major steps have already been made towards expanding their edible food recovery capacity. In 2019, Yolo County and the YFB jointly applied for and received $500,000 from CalRecycle to expand food recovery and distribution, in preparation for the SB 1383 requirements, through the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. Since the YFB plays an essential role in our countywide food recovery efforts, in 2020 we requested and received a proposal from the YFB on what additional funding would be needed to meet the obligations set under SB 1383. This proposal request was in the amount of $2 Million and included $1.3 Million to add a new warehouse and $700,000 to purchase three new trucks and various other operational equipment. Per Section 7.0 of the Edible Food Recovery Capacity Study, TCM and Abound reviewed the audited financials of the YFB and requested detailed information to accurately determine the costs associated with their current collection efforts vs. those new collection efforts required under SB 1383. After three months of review, it was determined that not enough data was provided to validate the $2 Million request.
Staff Identified Solutions
The options below illustrate three potential paths for the Board to take. Staff recommends Option 3.
Option 1 - Fund the YFB in their requested amount of $2 Million. Given that our consultant was unable to justify the need for $2 Million, based upon the requirements of SB 1383, an additional funding source will be required to support this option, if selected. One funding alternative to support this "above and beyond" approach could be instituting a new SB1383 tax on all businesses who generate this food waste. However, given that such a tax would apply to all businesses, the program would also need to be expanded to all businesses as it would be unfair to have all eligible businesses financially support a program for only a few such businesses. This approach would in turn increase staff workload which cannot be met with existing resources. Environmental Health (EH) inspections would increase from the 72 required business inspections per year to 886 business inspections per year and would also require additional work by IWM staff. If the Board wishes to select this option, staff requests that the Board authorize an additional part-time Recycling Coordinator in the amount of $71,541 annually and two additional full-time Environmental Health Inspectors in the amount of $317,990 annually. In total, this option would have an estimated cost of $2.4 Million, and if equally shared amongst the edible food generating businesses in Yolo County, each business would see a fee increase of $2,708 annually. Other funding alternatives include the General Fund and revenues from fee increases subject to Prop 218 voter approval.
Option 2 - Fund the "bare minimum" services necessary to comply with SB1383 in the unincorporated area of the County, estimated at $9,083, and direct staff to work with the Esparto Valley Market and RISE, Inc. (RISE), to service this single, required Tier 1 generator in the unincorporated area. The $9,083 cost of this option would include the purchase of new scales and refrigeration/freezer units for RISE, as well as funding to provide both food safety training to all staff and an outside food consultant to help with the program setup. This approach does not support the network of food recovery organizations in the County nor does it assist in covering the costs to get the food distributed once collected. This option can be fully funded by existing Solid Waste Franchise Fees at no impact to the General Fund.
Option 3 - (Staff Recommendation) Fund up to $17,311 to support the network of 9 food recovery organizations outlined on Page 17 of the Edible Food Recovery Capacity Study and Funding Assessment, as well as the YFB at a level that has been verified and is consistent with SB1383 requirements. City staff supports this option. This option also focuses on following strategic short-term recommendations, made by the County's consultant, allowing for the increased capacity needed to service Tier 1 edible food recovery generators over the next 12-18 months. IWM has sufficient funds in FY 21-22 budget for this option, utilizing Solid Waste Franchise Fees. This funding recommendation is being provided based upon a detailed assessment of the food recovery agencies, and the information and documentation provided by the YFB. Much of this recommendation also comes out of discussions on how to implement the requirements of SB1383 while moving through the COVID pandemic. Many of the food recovery organizations have been heavily impacted, in particular the YFB, which is one reason this network approach is so critical. It will spread out the resources amongst 10 organizations throughout the county so that the burden of the additional food being recovered is not funneled to one organization. The YFB provided feedback on this option stating that it is only partial funding to their overall request and therefore if approved as currently presented, they would decline to receive these funds to assist with SB1383 Edible Food Recovery (Attachment G). IWM staff has reached out to some of the other 9 organizations listed and they would be interested in taking on these additional SB1383 roles, and corresponding funding, should the YFB definitively decline the recommended funds after Board direction.
Staff recommends choosing Option 3 and then directing staff to finalize an MOU between the five jurisdictions to secure the funding Option 3 above; directing staff to secure agreements with each of the 9 food recovery organizations identified as having the capacity and with the Yolo Food Bank, and directing staff to establish long-term goals to assist Tier 2 Edible Food Generators in gaining compliance by 1/1/24 and come back to the Board with a "beyond the requirements" proposal by 1/1/26 based upon the diversion efforts achieved with Tier 1 and Tier 2 Generators.
|Internal: County Counsel, Environmental Health
External:City of Davis, City of West Sacramento, the City of Winters, City of Woodland, Edgar and Associates (Total Compliance Management (TCM) and Abound Food Care), Stakeholders/Tier 1 Generators (Ex. Nugget Market, Grocery Outlet, Lorenzo's Market, etc.), CalRecycle