AB 1826 - Commercial Organic Waste Recycling

Mandatory Commercial Recycling and Compost Recycling

The mandatory Commercial Organic Waste Recycling Law - AB 1826 became effective on January 1, 2016 and requires businesses and multi-family complexes (with 5 or more units) that generate specified amounts of organic waste (compost) to arrange for organics collection services. This includes schools, hospitals, stores, restaurants, for-profit or nonprofit organizations, as well as residential dwellings with 5+ units.

AB 1826 requires businesses and multi-family complexes to start recycling organic waste (compost) by the following dates:

April 1, 2016

Generators of 8 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week

January 1, 2017

Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of organic waste per week

January 1, 2019

Generators of 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week

*Please note that gardening or landscaping service offered to impacted businesses are also subject to this law and businesses must ensure that this organic waste is recycled.
Cubic Yards.JPG

Why Compost?

Approximately 30 million tons of waste is sent to landfills in California each year, of which more than 30% is organic and compostable material. Additionally, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills have been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change. These new requirements will be phased in over several years and will help California and our community reach its goal of 75% waste diversion by 2020.

Regulatory Requirements

Multi-family complexes (with 5 or more units) must arrange for recycling services for organic waste with the exception of food waste and food-spoiled paper. This law requires businesses to separate and recycle the following types of organic waste:
  • Food scraps
  • Green waste & yard trimmings
  • Non-hazardous, non- treated wood waste
  • Food-soiled paper and cardboard

How to Comply

To comply with AB 1826, businesses and multi-family complexes must separate organic waste and:
  • Subscribe to the BizSMART organics (Compost) collection service provided by Recology San Mateo County or a similar service provided by another vendor; or,
  • Recycle organic waste onsite, or self-haul organic waste for recycling; or,
  • Sell or donate the generated organic waste.
Please contact Recology San Mateo County to learn more about the BizSMART Compost and Recycle collection services offered in your area.

650-595-3900 | Email Recology | Recology Website

For more information, please visit: CalRecycle page on Organics