A new municipal code recycling ordinance requiring food waste to only be collected by the City’s licensed haulers is threatening to shut down some food recycling businesses in San Diego.
"They were saying no small guys could haul food waste any longer,” says Briana Young, co-owner of Closing the Loop, a food recycling business. “I would've been out of business July 1."
Young has been hauling food waste from 80 local restaurants for the last five years to keep it from going into landfills.
"You're taking food and it’s going into the ground. You're mixing it with some brown material, leaves or dirt and that becomes soil again,” she tells NBC 7.
Trish Watlington, the owner of Red Door Restaurant in Mission Hills, gives her scraps to Closing the Loop.
"A lot of times we have pieces of the fresh food that we're not going to use like carrot tops or beat tops or fenil tops,” Watlington explains.
Young decided to team up with other businesses and environmental groups to fight to re-write the ordinance – and the city is listening.
The city's Environmental Committee Consultant, Kevin C. Smith, released a statement saying in part:
"It is my understanding that the Environmental Services Department is actively meeting with affected stakeholders to resolve the issue."
Now, environmentalists will have a year to work with the city to develop policies to keep businesses like hers that work to bring waste to an end.