We work closely with city and state government to ensure that our shared sustainability goals are made possible. The most impactful pieces of recycling legislation are AB 341 and more recently, AB 1826.
Mandatory Commercial Recycling
Mandatory Commercial Recycling was among the first measures identified and adopted in the AB 32 Scoping Plan by the California Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Mandatory Commercial Recycling Measure focuses on increased commercial waste diversion from landfills as a method to reduce GHG emissions. It is designed to achieve a reduction in GHG emissions of 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents in the State.
A business (including public entities) that generates four cubic yards, or more, of commercial solid waste per week, or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more, shall arrange for recycling services. Businesses can take one, or any combination of, the following in order to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:
- Subscribe to a hauler.
- Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.
A property owner of a commercial business or multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section. Recology advises businesses to contact their hauler to find out how to recycle in their community and if there are any specific requirements in their community. Communities may have mandatory commercial recycling ordinances with different thresholds or more specific business recycling requirements than the state law.
In October 2014, California passed Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826), mandating all businesses and commercial establishments, including multi-family units, to arrange for organics recycling and hauling. Organic waste is defined as food waste, green waste, landscaping and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and food soiled paper waste that is mixed with food waste.
Summary of AB 1826:
- April 1, 2016: Businesses and Multi-family complexes that generate 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services. (First Threshold)
- January 1, 2017: Businesses and Multi-family complexes that generate 4 cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services. (Second Threshold)
- January 1, 2019: Businesses and Multi-family complexes that generate 4 cubic yards of solid waste “trash” per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services. (Third Threshold)
- Summer/Fall 2021: If CalRecycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 hasn’t been reduced by 50% (when compared to 2014), requirements will expand to Businesses and Multi-family complexes that generate 2 cubic yards of solid waste per week.
A business that meets the waste generation threshold shall engage in one of the following organic recycling activities:
- Source separate organic waste from other waste and participate in an organic waste recycling service that includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
- Recycle its organic waste on site, or self-haul its organic waste off site for recycling.
Additional points related to businesses:
- A business that is a property owner may require a lessee or tenant of that property to source separate their organic waste to aid in compliance.
- All businesses that contract for gardening or landscaping services must stipulate that the contractor recycle the resulting gardening or landscaping waste.
- A multi-family complex is not required to recycle food waste (but is still required to recycle green waste).
More information on the organic recycling requirements can be viewed here.