AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

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State of California’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Regulation – Effective April 2016Organic Waste Image NB

With the passage of AB 1826, businesses, including multifamily complexes of five units or more, are required to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week.

Commercial Organics Requirements

All businesses that produce organic waste may be subject to complying with organic recycling, this includes restaurants, hotels, retail establishments and multi-family residential dwellings of five or more units. Multi-family dwellings, which include apartments, town homes, and condominiums, are only required to recycle green waste.

Organics Recycling Timeline

  • April 1, 2016 - Businesses that generate eight or more cubic yards of organic waste must arrange for organics recycling service.
  • January 1, 2017 - Generators of four or more cubic yards or organics waste per week are subject to the organic waste diversion requirements.  
  • January 1, 2019 - Generators of four or more cubic yards of total solid waste per week are subject to the organic waste diversion requirements. 
  • January 1, 2021 - If organics waste disposal has not been reduced by at least 50 percent, generators of two cubic yards per week of total solid waste are subject to the organic waste diversion requirements.

Organic Recycling Services

The requirement to recycle organic waste can be met by taking one or any combination of the following actions: 

1. Source-separate organic waste from other waste and subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that specifically includes collection and recycling of organic waste.  Valley Vista Services, the City's franchise waste hauler, has programs available to assist.

2. Recycle organic waste on-site.

3. Self-haul organic waste for organic recycling.

4. Sell or donate the generated organic waste.

Waste Not OC

Hunger is not new, but what is new is our ability to work together to end it in Orange County. The Waste Not OC Coalition (WNOC) is a public/private partnership of the OC Health Care Agency, restaurants, food banks, and community leaders working together to facilitate the donation and distribution of surplus food to the needy.  Through Waste Not OC, non-residential food waste is picked up and donated to those in need. All that is required is that the donated food is handled and stored in a safe, sanitary manner, and maintained in the same manner as food sold to your customers. 

Donating edible food is a good way to demonstrate that you’re a money-wise and caring member of the community. In Orange County, food donation can also be achieved by contacting the Second Harvest Food Bank at www.feedingoc.org. Additional information on food recycling for restaurants is available at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Food/Restaurants/.  

Valley Vista Services of Orange County

The City of Cypress has an agreement with Valley Vista Services as our franchise waste hauler.  They offer businesses programs that can help them comply with the new state regulations.  For more information please contact them at 714-380-5450.  You can view their brochure on AB 1826 here.

Find Out More

Cal Recycle Organics Program
USEPA Food Recovery Challenge
A Guide to Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment (EPA)
Reducing Waste Food & Packaging - A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants (EPA)
Waste Not OC

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