AB 1594 (Williams, 2013-14) Compostable Organics Management

Summary. AB 1594 (Williams) will eliminate a loophole in state law that allows some yard trimmings and prunings that are used as landfill cover to count as being “diverted” from landfills. This state law virtually subsidizes the landfilling of this valuable material and is a major disincentive for recycling organics.

Position and Status. AB 1594 is sponsored by CAW. It has passed the legislature and been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Update: Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1594 into law!


Landfill operators are required to cover the active face of the landfill at the end of every day to prevent odors and risks to public health. The traditional material used for this purpose is soil. The next day, more garbage is placed on the soil and so it goes.

Operators have found that other materials such as processed green waste, auto shredder fluff, and tarps can also be used for this same purpose. These alternative cover materials are called Alternative Daily Cover (ADC).

Under AB 939, the state's waste reduction and recycling law the use of alternative daily cover is counted as recycling, and the materials are not considered "landfilled."

Californians Against Waste has no objection to the use of secondary materials, including green waste, for use as ADC or for other beneficial uses when other onsite materials are unavailable. We do remain strongly opposed to the concept of providing diversion credit for green waste that is used as ADC or for other beneficial uses at landfills.

There are valuable environmentally and economically beneficial markets for green waste and other woody waste materials that are being undermined by the use of these materials as landfill cover.

The initial rationale for providing diversion credit for green waste used as landfill cover was to create an incentive for collection at a time when end use markets for green waste composting remained uncertain. However today, the infrastructure has fully matured, and far from providing any benefit to the green waste composting infrastructure, the continued provision of diversion credit for the use of green waste as landfill cover threatens the very existence of the composting industry in California.

AB 1594 ends this practice. 

Take Action, urge Governor Brown to sign this bill into law.

CAW Staff Contacts.
Nick Lapis (916) 443-5422

Assembly Member Das Williams 

State Capitol, Room 4005
Sacramento, CA 95814

Association of Compost Producers
Breathe California
Biodegradable Products Institute
California Biomass Energy Alliance
California Climate and Agriculture Network
California Coastal Protection Network
California Compost Coalition
California League of Conservation Voters
California Organics Recycling Council
California Resource Recovery Association
Californians Against Waste
Center for Biological Diversity
City and County of San Francisco

City of Thousand Oaks

Clean Power Campaign
Coalition for Clean Air
Costa Mesa Sanitary District

County of Santa Barbara 

CR&R Environmental Services
Ecology Center
Environment California

Frank M. Booth Design Build Company

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Global Green USA
GrassRoots Recycling Network
Green Waste Recovery
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
Integrated Waste Management Consulting
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)

Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

Napa Recycling & Waste Services

Napa Recycling Compost
Natural Resources Defense Council
NatureWorks, LLC
Northern California Compost
Northern California Recycling Association
Northern Recycling Compost
Peabody Engineering
Planning and Conservation League
Quackenbush Mountain Compost
Sierra Club California
Sonoma Compost
Synergex International
Tracy Delta Compost
Upper Valley Recycling Compost
US Composting Council
Vasko Electric, Inc.
Z-Best Composting

Current Language, Analyses and votes.