Commercial Recycling – It’s the law!
California State Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341) made commercial recycling mandatory in 2012. A business (including public entities) that generates four (4) cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five (5) units or more shall arrange for recycling services.
California State Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826) made commercial organic recycling mandatory in 2016. As of January 1, 2020 a business (including public entities) that generates two (2) cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five (5) units or more shall arrange for organic recycling services.
In addition, California State Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) establishes organics diversion regulations that require nearly all residential and commercial entities to recycle organic material. There is also a statewide goal that 20% of edible food that is currently landfilled be diverted to food recovery organizations for human consumption. This law went into effect on January 1, 2020.
Finally, AB 827 amended AB 341 and AB 1826. It is intended to educate and involve consumers in achieving the state’s recycling goals by requiring businesses subject to MCR and/or MORe to make recycling and/or organic recycling bins available to customers.
Businesses and Multi-Family units can comply with the law by subscribing to organic recycling service with the Environmental Resources Division. Depending on the organic material generated, either green waste collection, food waste collection or both may be necessary. There may also be opportunities for small-scale community composting where organic materials are managed on site.
Environmental Resources staff are available to consult with business, and perform waste assessments, to help determine the best mix of organics recycling and waste containers (called right-sizing) to maximize both recovery and savings. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Businesses and Multi-Family Units that choose not to use the Environmental Resources Division service and instead utilize a third-party or self-haul their organic material, must annually certify what materials are recycled, how they are being recycled and estimated monthly quantities. They must also commit to communicate any intent to alter their organic recycling service(s) to the Environmental Resources Division prior to implementing them. The Alternative Service Certification Form is linked below.
In certain situations, waivers can be granted for compliance with mandatory organic diversion.
Qualifying circumstances include:
- Physical Space Waiver – Lack of sufficient space in multifamily complexes or businesses to provide additional organic recycling bins.
- De Minimus Waiver – Where an organization generates:
- two (2) cubic yards or more of solid waste per week; generation of 20 gallons or less of organic waste per week.
- less than two (2) cubic yards of solid waste per week; generation of 10 gallons or less of organic waste per week
Waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis and must be requested and verified every two years. To begin the waiver process, please complete the form below, and send it with supporting photographic evidence to email@example.com.