Mandatory Commercial Recycling

Mandatory Commercial Organics







a.      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.

b.      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.

c.       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

d.      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.

e.      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.

f.        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.

g.      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.


Phone: 925-674-7203
Fax: 925-674-7250
County Recycling Hotline: 1 (800) 750-4096 / E-Mail

Contra Costa County Department of Conservation & Development
30 Muir Road
Martinez, CA 94553

This website is provided for information purposes only and is not meant to be exclusive or exclusionary in any way.  Information on this website should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by the County.  The County does not vouch for the capabilities, trustworthiness or performance of any individual, business or institution listed on this website.  Although we strive to provide a comprehensive listing of reuse and recycling options, it should not be regarded as complete with respect to the services, institutions or products it lists.  The County is not liable for errors or omissions and can not guarantee the accuracy of information regarding materials accepted, services or other details.


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