Commercial Organics Recycling Mandate to Take Effect April 1, 2016

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A state law requiring businesses that generate a certain amount of waste per week to recycle their organic waste will take effect next spring.

The law, AB 1826 (Chesbro; D-North Coast; Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014) phases in new organic recycling requirements over several years, helping the state meet its goal of recycling 75% of its waste by 2020.

By January 1, 2016, according to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), local jurisdictions across the state must have organic recycling options in place for businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units.

The jurisdictions also must conduct outreach and education to those businesses about organics recycling options, and monitor implementation.

Who Must Comply

AB 1826 states that businesses and multifamily complexes must start recycling organic waste by the following dates:

• Generators of 8 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week: April 1, 2016.

• Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week: January 1, 2017.

• Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week: January 1, 2019.

• Generators of 2 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week, if statewide disposal of organic waste is not decreased by half: January 1, 2020.

Types of Waste

AB 1826 requires that businesses arrange for recycling services for the following types of organic waste:

• food waste;

• green waste;

• landscape and pruning waste;

• nonhazardous wood waste; and

• food-soiled paper.

Multifamily complexes of five units or more must arrange for recycling services for the same materials with the exception of food waste and food-soiled paper.

How to Comply

Businesses can comply with the new requirements by taking one or any combination of the following actions, according to CalRecycle, provided that the action is in compliance with local ordinances and requirements:

• Source-separate organic waste from other waste and subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that specifically includes collection and recycling of organic waste.

• Recycle organic waste onsite, or self-haul for organics recycling.

• Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that includes mixed-waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.

• Sell or donate the generated organic waste.

More Information

For more information on mandatory commercial organics recycling, visit CalRecycle’s Web page, www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics/.

Staff Contact: Amy Mmagu

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Amy Mmagu
About Amy Mmagu
Amy Mmagu has been a CalChamber policy advocate since April 2011. She has presented the business perspective on climate change, education, energy, environmental regulation, housing and land use issues. She joined the CalChamber staff in 2006, working in a wide range of areas. Before coming to the CalChamber, Mmagu worked for the California Cable and Telcommunications Association. She earned a B.A. in international relations from California State University, Sacramento, spending one year at the University of Denmark in Copenhagen, studying European politics.