November 2022 – CalRecyle releases the results of a year-long Waste Characterization Study it conducted in 2021 analyzing that state’s disposal habits. The study finds that California’s 39.3 million residents and 1.7 million businesses generated an estimated 76.7 million tons of material in 2021 as compared with 77.4 million tons in 2020. Based on data reported to CalRecycle, overall disposal in 2021 totaled about 46 million tons compared with 44.9 million tons in 2020. Additionally, based on calculations and comparison with reported disposal, the department estimates that 30.7 million tons were recycled in 2021. California’s statewide recycling rate was 40%, a 2% decrease from the previous year.
October 2021 – The Bioenergy Producers Association releases a comprehensive White_Paper authored by Jim Stewart summarizing the issues impeding the production of biofuels, chemicals and other biobased products from organic wastes in the state.
September 2021 – The Environmental Protection Agency issues an advance notice of proposed_rulemaking (ANPRM) to assist in the potential development of regulations for pyrolysis and gasification. These units are used to convert solid or semi-solid feedstocks – including solid waste (such as municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, biomass, plastics and tires) to useful products such as energy, fuels and chemical commodities. The ANPRM will provide an opportunity for a large and diverse group of stakeholders to participate in the data and information gathering process. The EPA rulemaking may provide momentum for the State of California to address the deficiencies that exist in its own statute and regulation.
September 2021 – The California Air Resources Board announces the formation and its sponsorship of the California Clean Biomass Collaborative, whose initial goal will be to identify new technologies and to ease the regulatory pathways for the development of alternatives to agricultural open field burning, which CARB has mandated for complete elimination by 2025.2022_Waste Characterization
September 2020 – In the cover story for MSW Management magazine, Jim Stewart, the Association’s Chairman, addressed California’s declining recycling rate and the need for enabling legislation to allow the use of municipal solid waste as a feedstock for the production of renewable energy, chemicals and pipeline quality renewable natural gas. Entitled “A Decade of Progress in California? Not for its Recycling Rate,” it updated and expanded upon his Biofuels Digest article published in March of 2020 (see below).
March 2020 – Since 2014, California’s Recycling Rate has declined from 50% in 2014 to 40% in 2018 (the last year for which data has been released), directly the opposite of its policy intentions. A major contributing factor has been the legislature’s continuing refusal to authorize the use of non-combustion advanced recovery technologies to convert post-recycled organic municipal solid waste to low carbon fuels, chemicals and other sustainable products. Jim Stewart addressed this subject in this article for Biofuels Digest.
April 2019 — Chuck White, Senior Advisor, Environment for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLC addressed the Western Regional Symposium of SWANA (the Solid Waste Association of North America) on the subject, “Is California Ready (Yet ?) for the Conversion of Solid Waste to Energy, Fuels and Chemicals?” View his accompanying Power Point presentation here.
February 2019 – White circulated to interested California legislators, legislative staff and stakeholders a document entitled “Adding Recovery to California’s Recycling Toolkit: Why It’s Time to Get More ‘Reduce and Re-Use’ from Solid Waste…and How to Do it.” Together with a summary of Current Related Statute, the document was intended as a starting point for stakeholder discussions on how to break the legislative impasse on conversion technologies that has existed for at least fifteen years. Chuck White has over 25 years of regulatory and environmental consulting experience, including more than 20 years as director of regulatory affairs for Waste Management in Sacramento.
January 2019 – Jim Stewart, Chairman of the BioEnergy Producers Association, spoke at the VerdeXchange Conference in Los Angeles, detailing the legislative and regulatory issues that have caused conversion technology developers to commit their management and financial resources to states other than California. Read his remarks here.
August 2017 – In late August, Jim Stewart, the Association’s Chairman, addressed the Waste Conversion Technology Conference in San Diego, assessing the legislative and regulatory issues that inhibit the introduction of these technologies in California. Read his comments here.
July 2017 – On June 27th, the California Energy Commission jointly hosted a workshop with CARB and the CPUC to seek stakeholder input on developing and using renewable gas, including biogas and biomethane, for electricity production and transportation fuel. Read the comments submitted by the BioEnergy Producers Association addressing the goals of this workshop.
July 2017 – In connection with the conference referenced above, Evan Williams, President of Cambrian Energy, a major developer of landfill gas projects throughout the United States, was among the stakeholders concurring with the BioEnergy Producers Association regarding the need for conversion technology statutory and regulatory reform. Read excerpts from his comments to the CEC on this issue here.
August 2016 – Stewart participates in a conference sponsored by the Waste Conversion Technology Association in San Diego, California. View his Power Point presentation here.
July 2016 – Stewart addresses a day-long conference on conversion technologies hosted by the Department of Public Works of Los Angeles County. Read his remarks here. See the full proceedings of this conference here.
July 2016 – At the same conference, Evan Williams, Chairman of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, addresses the need for conversion technologies to convert solid waste residuals into RNG for injection into California’s natural gas pipelines. View his Power Point presentation here.
February 2016 – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works releases a detailed study comparing the net GHG emissions from the disposal of residuals from a mixed waste Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)in a sanitary landfill with the processing of the same residuals at an Integrated MRF with CT. The complete peer-reviewed Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Analysis proves the net environmental benefits of managing residual solid waste using anaerobic digestion and gasification at an integrated CT facility..
December 2015 – In an article for Biofuels Digest, Stewart addresses the potential for using the 30 million tons of post-recycled municipal solid waste as a feedstock for the production of renewable energy in California.
October 2015 – In a letter to the California Air Resources Board, a coalition of public jurisdictions and waste management companies expresses concern that it would be technically and fiscally infeasible to achieve the goals of AB 341 (75% organics recycling in 2020 and 90% in 2025) without major land use siting and permitting concessions as well as $2-3 billion in infrastructure funding.
June 2015 – In an article for MSW Management magazine, Stewart assesses the promise of MSW and its role in the emergence of biotechnology, noting that, despite all best intentions, the goal of zero waste to landfills cannot be achieved through the recycling of finished products and composting alone.
June 2014 – In this Biofuels Digest article, Jim Stewart notes that, for more than ten years, conversion technology providers have been seeking a constructive permitting and regulatory environment that would justify risking their time and financial resources to pursue projects in the State of California.
April 2014 – In an editorial in MSW Management magazine, its Editor, John Trotti, states that the regulatory policies of CalRecycle should enable the highest and best available science-based technologies for the treatment and reconstitution of post-recycled materials.
March 2013 – The City of Los Angeles releases its Zero Waste Report, an independent assessment of the City’s progress toward its “Zero Waste-to-Landfill” goal, with programmatic and policy recommendations for achieving zero waste to landfill by 2025. See pages 39 and 40 for its recommendations for legislative change, still unheeded.