CalRecycle announced it's distributing $130.6 million in grant funding to local organics projects in California, advancing projects that would help meet SB 1383 diversion goals.
The funding will support 23 infrastructure projects across 15 counties in California, according to a release Tuesday. The state agency estimates the projects will divert 7.7 million tons of organic waste out of landfills.
“California’s latest investments in food and yard waste recycling will cut planet-heating pollution and grow California companies with new green jobs in our communities,” CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner said in a statement. “Organic waste recycling is part of California’s climate fight as we move toward circular, local systems that continuously recycle what we used to throw away.”
SB 1383, passed in 2016, required the state to reduce organic waste disposal 75% by 2025 against a 2014 baseline. But in January, Wagoner acknowledged that California residents were far behind that target and in fact disposing more organic waste than they were in 2014.
CalRecycle opened this round of funding for the Organics Grant Program earlier this year after the state legislature allocated $180 million in SB 1383-related funding in 2022.
The agency selected a range of projects to receive the funding proposed by both the public and private sector.
Three awardees — Los Angeles County and the cities of Riverside and Redding — will receive $10 million each to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants to recycle more organics. Others, like the city of Napa, California Grinding, SANCO Services in San Diego and the University of California in Davis received funding to build or expand biofuel facilities. Two private sector awardees are also receiving funding for de-packagers — Green Valley Recycling in Fresno County and Republic Services of Sonoma County.
The funding also supports a range of composting operations. Western Placer Waste Management Authority is set to receive nearly $10 million to build a new composting facility. Its project is expected to divert 1,259,000 tons of organic waste from landfills over 10 years, the largest amount among all projects funded in this cycle.
Meanwhile, Kern County will receive $10 million to build a composting operation at its landfill and is expected to divert the second most organics among awardees — 831,000 tons over 10 years. Agromin is also set to receive $10 million to expand a composting facility of its own in Ventura County, which is expected to divert 681,000 tons.
Other projects funded included two in-vessel composting systems at Santa Barbara food banks, two in Sacramento County and one at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The Humboldt Waste Management Authority and Sacramento County also received funding for organics pre-processing facilities.
In total, the funding is expected to support the creation of 114 jobs, per CalRecycle. The agency said that 75% of communities now have residential organics collection programs in the state and almost all reported expanding commercial organics collection programs.
CalRecycle just closed a question and answer period for its Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program, and is now accepting applications from tribal governments until Jan. 23.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct which entities can apply for CalRecycle's Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program.