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Rancho Mirage partners with FIND Food Bank to meet waste reduction mandates

July 13 | Featured

Sherry Barkas

The Desert Sun

FIND Food Bank will help Rancho Mirage and its businesses meet state mandates for organic waste reduction through a new $7,500 agreement approved Thursday by the City Council.

Senate Bill 1383 was signed into law in September 2016, requiring the reduction of organic waste disposal by 50% by January 2020 and by 75% by 2025.

The law also requires a 20% increase in edible food recovery by 2025.

It places many requirements on jurisdictions to reach those goals including establishing an edible food recovery program to include documentation, contracts between edible food generators and recovery organizations, coordination, data collection and reporting, among other items, with fines up to $10,000 per day for non-compliance, said Jessica Pulliam, senior management analyst for the city.

FIND Food Bank will help Rancho Mirage and its businesses meet state mandates for organic waste reduction through a new $7,500 agreement approved Thursday by the City Council.

The city is also required to ensure Tier 1 generators which includes grocery stores over 10,000 square feet, wholesale vendors and food distributors donate edible food, have contracts in place with the non-profits to receive recovered edible food and ensure businesses are keeping records for inspection.

Starting this year, the city will be required to ensure compliance with inspection of records to include review of contracts and data to ensure there is proper reporting by the Tier 1 businesses as well as hotels and restaurants in Tier 2, Pulliam said.

There is considerable infrastructure, systems and staffing required, along with training in collection, to meet the mandates of SB 1383, which would be costly for the city to do itself.

FIND Food Bank, however, has the expertise, established systems, a network of volunteers and a history of providing food assistance directly as well as through distribution to other nonprofit organizations, Pulliam said.

The contract cost of $7,500 is for this calendar year.