file

AB 1826 - Commercial Organics Recycling Law

In October of 2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1826 Chesbro (Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014), requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. This law also requires that on and after January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units (please note, however, that multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program). Organic waste (also referred to as organics throughout this resource) means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time, while also offering an exemption process for rural counties. In particular, the minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, which means that an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply.

Compliance with the regulation can be met in a variety of ways. Properties may:

  • Arrange for organics recycling services with a County franchised hauler;
  • self-haul materials to a recycling facility;
  • compost green waste onsite;
    • The County of San Diego offers free assistance to businesses that want to develop composting programs. Please contact Recycle@sdcounty.ca.gov or 858-694-2456 for more information. Additional composting resources are available here
  • employ a landscaping service that hauls yard waste offsite to a recycling facility.
    • Note that AB 1826 requires that a landscaping contract specifically stipulate that the landscaper will recycle the green waste it collects from a business.
    • Sample landscaper contract language is available here.

Important Implementation Dates

The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units, over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that will increase the scope of affected businesses if waste reduction targets are not met. The implementation schedule is as follows:

  • April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate four cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
  • September 15, 2020: Businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.