Mandatory Commercial Organics Requirements
Businesses are required to recycle their organic waste depending on the amount of waste they generate per week.
Laws and Regulations
Effective April 2016, businesses will be required to recycle their organic waste depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. AB 1826 (Chesbro, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014) phases in new organics recycling requirements over the next several years to help the state meet its goal of recycling 75% of its waste by 2020.
1. April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
2. January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate four cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
3. January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
4. Summer/Fall 2021: If CalRecycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduced by 50 percent of the level of disposal during 2014, the organic recycling requirements on businesses will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week. Additionally certain exemptions, previously discussed, may no longer be available if this target is not met.
Note: Multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program
Businesses that are required to recycle their organic waste shall implement at least one, or a combination, of the following activities;
- Recycling its own organic waste onsite or self-haul *requires an Exemption Form (PDF) be completed and submitted to DCD for approval.
- Subscribe to a hauler(s)
- Arrange for the pickup of organic materials from a vendor that doesn’t charge for their services. *requires an Exemption Form (PDF) be completed and submitted to DCD for approval.
- Donate organics to food banks or animal feed options *requires an Exemption Form (PDF) be completed and submitted to DCD for approval.
Note: The law requires businesses to recycling ALL of their organic waste. If you decide to donate to food banks, the organics that do not meet the health and safety standards will still need to be recycled through another option above.
Note: Please note that material collected for animal feed may be subject to California Department of Food and Agriculture guidelines related to swine garbage feeding.
Don't delay, recycle your organics today! Just follow the steps below and you'll be recycling your organics in no time.
- Click the link for your community below to learn about the organics recycling collection services available for your designated hauler. If you would like to utilize other options for recycling organics waste, check out the Resources tab.
- Contact the selected hauler and/or facility to arrange the desired organic recycling services.
- Train your staff to separate your recyclables! (Technical Assistance available in some areas, see Resources tab)
- Alamo (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Alhambra Valley (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Bay Point (East) (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Bay Point (West) (Pittsburg Disposal)
- Bay View (Republic Services / Richmond Sanitary Service)
- Bethel Island (Brentwood Disposal)
- Blackhawk (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Brentwood (Brentwood Disposal)
- Byron (Brentwood Disposal)
- Canyon (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Clyde (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Concord (Concord Disposal)
- Concord, Unincorporated (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Crockett (Republic Services / Richmond Sanitary Service)
- Diablo (Republic Services / Allied Waste)
- Discovery Bay (Discovery Bay Disposal)
- East Richmond Heights (Republic Services / Richmond Sanitary Service)
- El Sobrante (Republic Services / Richmond Sanitary Service)
- Kensington (Bay View Refuse)
- Knightsen (Brentwood Disposal)
- Montalvin Manor (Republic Services / Richmond Sanitary Service)
You may already be in compliance
1 (800) 750-4096 -or- email for more information about where to properly dispose of your unwanted items.
'Designated haulers and some other service providers will arrange to provide “free” technical assistance to help businesses capture more organic materials currently being discarded as trash. If technical assistance is not available through your selected organic recycler, you can also contact County staff at (925) 674-7812. Not all collectors list as much information on their websites as others, so be sure to call your collection company if you don’t find what you are looking for on their website.
What is organic waste?
Organic waste as defied in the law includes the following materials: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
Food waste includes solid, semi-solid and liquid food, such as, fruit, vegetables, meat, bone, bread, rice, fats, grease and oils. Food waste includes food-soiled paper.
What is food-soiled paper?
Examples of food-soiled paper include uncoated products such as napkins, towels, tissues, paper plates, paper cups, fast food wrappers (non-styrofoam), egg cartons, used pizza boxes, wax-coated cardboard and other similar paper or compostable packaging.
Who is required to participate?
The law phases in requirements on businesses and multifamily complexes with 5 or more units. Please refer to the listed dates under “Law and Regulations”
What about Fats, Oils, and grease?
While AB 1826 imposes requirements for recycling organic waste, it does not change other existing regulatory authority. Any arrangement to divert FOG must be done in accordance with local ordinances and regulations, regional water board requirements, and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) rules and requirements. For more information, see CDFA resources for Inedible Kitchen Grease (IKG) Program.
What does self-hauling organics mean?
Self-hauling means your business or multifamily complex takes responsibility for transporting your organics to a designated location that will accept and/or process the organic materials. Some examples include but are not limited to taking your recyclables to a buy-back facility or drop-off facility. Businesses that have corporate recycling programs through their distribution centers may also be considered self-hauling.
What is considered onsite recycling of organic waste?
Businesses can recycle materials onsite by composting, anaerobic digestion, vermi-composting, etc. Before starting your own onsite organics recycling infrastructure be sure to check your local laws to see what permits you may need.
What are the benefits to recycling organics?
Organics recycling providers many direct and indirect benefits. Organics recycling is a great way to save money. Businesses that recycle can save on their bills and receive tax incentives for donating food. Organics recycling can also reduce greenhouse gases and conserve natural resources, while creating a valuable resource for agricultural needs. By recycling your organics you effectively reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which helps sustain the environment for future generations.