Olympia seeks to divert compostable materials

Discussion follows new 2022 law passed by Legislature


Public Works Waste ReSources Director Gary Franks recommended to the Olympia Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) that members include some elements House Bill 1799 concerning organic material management in their working plan during their meeting Thursday, May 5.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1799 on March 25, 2022. It becomes effective on June 9.

According to Franks, who is also the staff liaison for the UAC, the new law aims to reduce the amount of organics sent to landfills by 75% by 2030.

He added that HB 1799 requires the city to draft an ordinance for compost procurement and require businesses to begin subscribing to services for organics diversion.

“It has a number of things, some don’t affect the utility directly and others will affect…we just need to incorporate some of the elements that are contained in this bill into our plan as we move forward,” said Franks on the new law.

He said the next step is collecting inputs from the UAC and the Land Use and Environment Committee to draft a recommendation for the city council.

“There is also a goal to reduce the disposal of edible food waste. It has a big segment. It is about reducing greenhouse gases, methane emissions from landfills,” Franks noted.

The UAC acts as a public advisor to the city council, the city manager’s office, and Public Works Department on utility policy matters for water, storm and surface water, and waste resources.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story identified Public Works’ Water Resources director Eric Christensen as the source of the comments above.  We regret the error.


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