Resource Recycling News

Aggressive organics bill passes in Pacific Northwest

Compost operations at Dirt Hugger

Composting operations such as Dirt Hugger of Dallesport, Wash. could benefit from an aggressive organics diversion bill that passed the Washington legislature this month. | Jared Paben/Resource Recycling, Inc.

Washington state lawmakers have sent the governor a sprawling bill focused on diverting organics from landfills.

House Bill 1799 takes a number of steps aimed at reducing landfilling of food scraps, yard debris and other organic materials streams.

The bill establishes statewide organic materials management goals, requires certain local governments to provide source-separated organics collection service, mandates certain businesses to arrange for organics collection services, changes liability standards to encourage more food donations, creates the Washington Center for Sustainable Food Management, expands funding for organics management, requires local governments to allow the siting of composting operations, requires municipalities to consider purchasing compost, and changes plastic and compostable product labeling requirements.

HB 1799 imposes on local governments and businesses a host of new requirements to reduce food waste, some of which mirror requirements coming on-line in California.

The Washington bill passed the state Senate with a vote of 34-14 on March 3 and the House of Representatives with a vote of 57-40 on March 8.

It has been delivered to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has not yet acted on it.

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