Announcing the 2018 Zero Food Waste Forum!

We are pleased to announce the second Zero Food Waste Forum to be held October 16, 2018 in Berkeley, California, hosted by the Northern California Recycling Association and the Solid Waste Association of North America Gold Rush Chapter.

Check out the Program and apply to attend today! 

Attendance is limited and priority will be given to local jurisdiction staff.

NCRA & SWANA members: $65/person; Non-Members: $75/person

The purpose of the Forum is to help local jurisdictions understand the direction and intentions of Senate Bill 1383 (2016), which requires that no less than 20 percent of edible food currently disposed of in California is recovered for human consumption by 2025, and where we need to go.  The Forum will profile successful policies and programs in food waste prevention and reduction and edible food repurposing and recovery, highlight regional and statewide examples and provide a forum for innovative approaches to reduce wasted food and feed hungry people. There will be time for break-out sessions in which to delve more deeply into these subjects with presenters and colleagues.

Food Waste Policy Update

By Food Waste Reduction Committee Members, Susan Miller Davis, Infinite Table and Susan Blachman, Blachman Consulting

SB1383, signed by Governor Brown in 2016, requires reductions in short-lived climate pollutants, similar to the way AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, does for greenhouse gases.  SB1383 specifically targets organic waste methane emissions.

CalRecycle is developing the regulatory language to support the following targets under SB1383:  a 50 percent reduction in the level of statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020; a 75 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2025; and the recovery of 20 percent or more of edible food that is currently being disposed for human consumption by 2025.

Since the bill’s passage, CalRecycle has been holding workshops on the regulatory language. The most recent workshops were held on May 7 & 8, 2018. The following is the Table of Contents of the May 2018 proposed regulations. For more information and documents., visit the  CalRecycle Public Meeting Notice.

Article 1. Definitions
Article 2. Landfill Disposal and Reductions in Landfill Disposal
Article 3. Organic Waste Collection Services
Article 4. Education and Outreach
Article 5. Generators of Organic Waste
Article 6. Biosolids Generated at a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)
Article 7. Regulation of Haulers
Article 8. Cal-Green Building Standards
Article 9. Locally Adopted Standards and Policies
Article 10. Jurisdiction Edible Food Recovery Programs, Food Generators, and Food Recovery 
Article 11. Capacity Planning
Article 12. Procurement of Recovered Organic Waste Products
Article 13. Reporting
Article 14. Enforcement
Article 15. Enforcement Oversight by the Department
Article 16. Penalties

SB1383 will require local governments to impose new levels of collection service for generators, develop new sources of organics recycling and edible food recovery capacity, and comply with new levels of state and local oversight. CalRecycle has received considerable feedback on the most recent draft, so we expect it to continue to be revised.

In 2019 CalRecycle will be networking, providing technical assistance, and developing tools, model ordinances, contracts, and case studies to support efforts at the local level to meet the organic waste reduction targets and comply with the regulatory requirements.

In the meantime, NCRA will be holding the Zero Food Waste Forum on October 16, 2018 in Berkeley focused on innovative ways local governments are implementing and can comply with Article 10, the edible food element.

A related bill, AB 1219, the California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, adopted in 2017, should help with food recovery. It strengthens and expands liability protections for food donors. Among its provisions, the law requires health inspectors to educate businesses about the laws that exist to protect food donors from liability, which is the first time a state has done this. To assist health inspectors, staff at a number of non-profits (the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, the California Conference of the Directors of Environmental Health, and the Center for Climate Change and Health, with support from The California Endowment) produced the Safe Surplus Food Donation Toolkit, to educate food facilities about safe surplus food donation, including information on liability protections, state mandates, and safe surplus food donation practices. The Toolkit includes websites where food generators can find recipients of donated food.

If you know of any feeding organizations that are not included, please encourage them to get listed. They are: Sustainable America  Feeding America and Ample Harvest

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Zero Food Waste Forum: Call For Papers – Due 6/15

The Northern California Recycling Association and Solid Waste Association of North American are hosting the 2018 Zero Food Waste Forum on World Food Day. Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 in Berkeley, CA. The Call For Papers is now open and ends June 15.

The Forum will help local jurisdictions comply with Senate Bill 1383, which requires California to reduce edible food going to landfills by 20% by 2025. The Forum will profile successful policies and programs in food waste prevention and reduction and edible food repurposing and recovery, highlight regional and statewide examples and provide a forum for “disruptive” approaches to reduce wasted food and feed hungry people. Interested in getting involved? If you are interested in serving on the committee or being a sponsor, contact the Committee.

 

Fodder For Thought: Recovering Food and Feeding Animals

By Food Waste Reduction Committee Members, Susan Miller Davis, Infinite Table and Susan Blachman, Blachman Consulting
According to the US EPA food recovery hierarchy, after prevention and feeding humans comes feeding animals. Below are some places in Northern California that accept food for animals.

 The Oakland Zoo, home to more than 700 animals and dedicated to conservation, is a unique local resource for food recovery in Alameda County.  The Zoo has the potential to use a large quantity and variety of foods, including meat, bones, excess bread and bakery goods, and imperfect produce, which may not be suitable for human consumption.

According to a 2012 article, the zoo spends over $300,000 annually on feed.  A single tiger eats 10 bones and 15 pounds of meat daily, and an 11,000-pound bull elephant eats 100 pounds of “browse” or vegetation each day.  The park is about to expand significantly, opening the new “California Trail” exhibit which will feature several large species like bison and bears and scavengers like condors, which could open up new donation possibilities.  The Zoo currently works with a number of donors according to specific donation guidelines, and hosts an annual  Feast for the Beasts event, this year on July 28, inviting the public to feed the elephants breakfast using donated produce.

Tiny Farms is an agricultural technology company headquartered in San Leandro. The company is building high-efficiency modular cricket farms, and producing cricket powder for human and animal food. They are currently hatching about 1 million crickets per month in their San Leandro facility and are experimenting with substituting recovered food such as stale bread and sturdy vegetables (e.g. root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. that may be softening or sprouting but are not yet rotting), for some of their animal feed as a way to reduce their business’ environmental impact.

They believe there is the potential to replace as much as half of their cricket feed with recovered food. And they’ve just recently begun supplying Oaktown Crickets with seasoned fried crickets in snack packs and as a salad topper at the Oakland Coliseum.

O2 Artisans Aggregate, O2AA, an eco-industrial park located in West Oakland, is home to a network of artisans and enterprises working collectively to develop and promote environmentally progressive projects. The systems created at O2 enable tenants and the community to utilize alternative energy and reduce and up-cycle various waste-streams.

The Perennial Farming Initiative has an aquaponic greenhouse facility which uses organic material, other than wood chips, compostable utensils and putrid material.  In the closed-loop system, that organic material is fed to fish, the fish waste is then used to fertilize plants on hydroponic rafts and the plants are harvested for consumption.  Other organic material, not easily composted (onions, citrus, bones), is fed to worms that in turn feed the fish.  O2 Feeds is a new on-site initiative upcycling food waste, including wet and dry grains, okara (a waste by-product from a local tofu manufacturer) and tortilla chips, to create a sustainable animal feed.

Livestock farming is concentrated in the eastern part of Alameda County – for more information see the Alameda Farm Bureau.  There are several large operations in nearby counties that accept excess food.

M-R Ranch is a 200-cow operation near Sacramento that takes material from the Alameda County Community Food Bank, including stale bread, spent grain, chocolate, oatmeal and old produce such as onions, potatoes, and cilantro.

Devil’s Gulch Ranch, a diversified family farm located in Nicasio, Marin County, within California’s North Coast region, raising rabbits, pigs, sheep, premium wine grapes and asparagus for retail customers and direct sales to restaurants. They accept donations of brewer’s grains, milk, bread and tortillas for their pigs.

To find other farms in and around Alameda County that will accept food waste:

  • Post material on CropMobster, an online community-based exchange system for trade and exchange within the food and agricultural space. CropMobster SF Bay is focused on providing a locally based community for hunger relievers, tackling food waste and building a “farm-to-fork” economy in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Talk to animal farmers at Alameda County farmers markets

Please let us know if you are aware of other animal operations that accept recovered food.