May 7 - California Assembly Designates Compost Awareness Week

The California Assembly today designated the week of May 3, 2015 through May 9, 2015 as Compost Awareness Week.  

Assemblymember Das Williams, who is Californians Against Waste's 2014 Legislator of the Year, introduced the bill to raise awareness of the value of composting in terms of improving agriculture, reducing landfill growth, greenhouse gases and water pollution as well as creating jobs.

Analysis by the Assembly Committee on Rules shows that compostable organic materials make up 42 percent of the material going to landfills, and that turning the state's food waste into compost used in farming could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6.3 million tons.  The analysis also states that the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery estimates that composting efforts could create 14,000 new jobs in California by 2020.

House Resolution No. 20—Relative to Compost Awareness Week:

WHEREAS, Materials, such as yard trimmings, vegetable cuttings, biosolids, food scraps, manures, and hay shavings, have all been composted and converted into a beneficial product known as compost; and

WHEREAS, Compost is an important soil amendment and is critical to the state’s valuable agricultural industry; and

WHEREAS, Returning organic resources to the soil decreases dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, decreases erosion, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and nonpoint source pollution, conserves water, and creates drought resistant crops; and

WHEREAS, Composting is an effective form of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling; and since compostable organic materials make up approximately 42 percent of the material going to landfills, composting is becoming one of the primary methods used by communities to reach waste diversion goals; and

WHEREAS, Anaerobic digestion is a form of organics management that prepares materials for composting, while capturing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which is then used to generate electricity and heat or processed into an ultra-low carbon transportation fuel; and

WHEREAS, Composting California’s food waste could cutlandfill methane emissions by an amount of up to the equivalent of three million tons of carbon dioxide per year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of an additional million tons, through the use of finished compost in agriculture; and

WHEREAS, Communities, through their local governments, highway departments, soil conservation services and extension offices, and public works professionals, can have significant impact on clean water, soil, climate change, and landfill diversion by using compost for public works projects; and

WHEREAS, Composting creates green jobs and infrastructure for cities and states that implement composting programs; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has estimated that recovering a significant portion of our organic waste stream could create 14,000 new jobs in the state by 2020; and

WHEREAS, The composting councils of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have all declared the first full week of May as the annual International Compost Awareness Week; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the week of May 3, 2015, through May 9, 2015, is hereby designated as Compost Awareness Week; and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.