An important part of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s mission is to increase the diversion of organic materials away from landfills and toward the production of value-added products such as compost, fertilizers, and biofuels.

Using compost and mulch. What is compost, what is mulch, and how do you use them? What kind of benefits can you expect from using compost and mulch? From this page you can find examples of compost and mulch in use in urban landscapes and on the farm, fact sheets about compost use, purchasing specifications, information about lawn removal rebates, and more.

Food Scraps. Food scraps are now the largest single category of disposed waste in California. Once in a landfill, food rapidly degrades, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This web pages shows examples of food waste reduction activities by five key business groupings.

Organic Materials Management. Organic materials include food waste, yard waste, lumber, paper and other carbon-containing materials. Organic waste accounts for more than a third of the material in California’s waste stream, and when paper is included; more than half. California is employing a variety of strategies to remove organic materials from the waste stream and direct them toward better uses, including recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion. Learn more about that here.

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling. A new law going into effect in 2016 requires businesses to recycle their organic waste and requires cities, counties and regional solid waste agencies to implement programs t\hat enable businesses within their borders to divert organic materials such as food away from landfills and toward more productive uses.

Assembly Bill 876 Compostable Organics Infrastructure. Another new law will requires cities, counties and regional solid waste agencies to estimate the amount of organic waste they will generate over a 15-year period, estimate the additional infrastructure required to divert those materials, and identify potential locations for those facilities.

Model Source Reduction and Recycling Element (SRRE ) Identification of Market Development Activities. Each city, county and regional solid waste agency is required, in their SRRE document, to identify activities they will undertake to develop infrastructure for recycling as well as markets for products made from recycled materials, including compost and mulch. CalRecycle’s Local Assistance and Market Development branch helps local governments implement this long-standing part of California solid waste law.