California leads the nation in environmental legislation based on initiatives designed to protect people and natural resources.
Recycling is among these initiatives and the newest legislation expands recycling to the diversion of organic waste.
Orange County is a primary target of this legislation (AB 1594 and SB 1383) because haulers bring more processed greenwaste to OC’s landfills than any county in the state. Prior to the legislation, OCWR could accept it for free, and the generating cities received diversion credit. That credit goes away in 2020.
Given OCWR’s role as the regional leader, our goal is to build composting operations at all the OC landfills. In 2018, OCWR launched composting pilot projects at all three landfill sites. The year was a time of research, discovery and training—all toward development of commercial-scale composting programs to help the County and cities to meet the new organics diversion mandates in 2020.
OCWR continues to develop infrastructure to transition our landfills into resource recovery facilities. Central to this effort is transforming landfill gas to renewable energy. In 2018, The Gas Technology Institute, through a California Energy Commission grant, began onsite installation of an innovative landfill gas-to-biomethane pilot project at one of our closed landfills, Coyote Canyon. OCWR also entered into an option agreement with FuelCell Energy, Inc. to develop a new renewable energy project at the same site.
Further south, OCWR began preparing for the Prima Deshecha Landfill gas-to-electricity plant shutdown in 2022 by initiating a renewable technologies master plan to optimize energy redevelopment.VIEW RENEWABLE ENERGY FACT SHEET