Santa Clara County passes food recovery ordinance


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara County leaders are voting to pass a food catering ordinance that will force some large-scale businesses to salvage and donate surplus edible food.

The county supervisory board approved the food recovery ordinance on Tuesday because the state’s new law, SB 1383, requires cities and counties to pass the ordinance by January 2022.

The ordinance is intended for unincorporated areas in the county.

“The Supervisory Board vote creates a comprehensive and thoughtful county-wide framework to deliver thousands of extra pounds of healthy surplus food to populations in need across our region, instead of wasting them,” said Otto Lee, Santa Clara County Supervisor, who represents the county on the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission.

“I am proud of the county’s leadership role and partnering with Joint Venture Silicon Valley, county staff, food recovery organizations and the 15 Santa Clara County towns to create a game-changing model ordinance to feed residents and workers in need. . “

In November 2020, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecyle) promulgated regulations under SB 1383 to reduce organic waste in landfills.

The regulations require jurisdictions (cities, counties and special districts) to pass ordinances by January 1, 2022 and implement programs that will require certain businesses to collect and donate edible food.

The county’s recently passed ordinance aims to create an easier-to-use program for businesses that donate food and nonprofits that distribute it.

While each city in the county must adopt its own ordinance, stakeholders recognized the benefits of working together to create a standardized model for use across the county.

The county says the ordinance will serve as a model for cities in the county to create their own ordinances, citing the benefits of collaboration by simplifying compliance for businesses and promoting food recovery.

By recycling and donating surplus edible foods, organic material is excluded from landfills, resulting in lower carbon emissions.


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