Row of Recycling Bins
Program News...

General Information

Background and Overview

In October 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 an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply.

Organic Waste Pie Chart

Why Organics?

Mandatory recycling of organic waste is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. California disposes approximately 30 million tons of waste in landfills each year, of which more than 30 percent could be used for compost or mulch (see the 2014 Waste Characterization Study). Organic waste such as green materials and food materials are recyclable through composting and mulching, and through anaerobic digestion, which can produce renewable energy and fuel. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic wastes in land-fills have been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change. Reducing the amount of organic materials sent to landfills and increasing the production of compost and mulch are part of the AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) Scoping Plan. For more information on the connection between the waste sector and California’s GHG emission reduction goals, please see CalRecycle’s Climate Change page.

Business Requirements
and Resources
    Local Government
Requirements and Resources
    CalRecycle
Requirements

Implementation Dates and Thresholds

The law phases in the requirements for 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:

Thresholds

*Note: Multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program.

April 2015 Stakeholder Workshop

Workshop materials include a presentation, proposed FAQS, a generator identification tool, information on annual reporting, sample programs, a program needs assessment tool, and Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan (CIWMP) enforcement revisions.

Related Resources

Find a Composter Near You

Locate compost and/or mulch facilities by county and feedstock accepted. Additional facility information is available using CalRecycle’s Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT).

California Green Business Network

The California Green Business Program is a network of local programs operated by counties and cities throughout California.

CoolCalifornia.org

Cool California provides resources for small businesses, including a carbon calculator, sustainability activities, success stories, funding wizard, and an awards program.

U.S. EPA Food Recovery Challenge

Participants reduce wasted food through prevention, donation, composting, and anaerobic digestion.

U.S. EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit

The free toolkit includes a PDF guide and a tracking tool (Excel spreadsheet) to help food service facilities identify and implement opportunities to reduce food and packaging waste, which saves money and reduces environmental impacts.

The Foodservice Packaging Institute

The Institute offers free resources that are tailored toward key stakeholders, including communities, material recovery facilities, composters, anaerobic digestion facilities and recycling end markets. Resources include overviews of California-specific recycling and composting studies, an interactive map of end markets, information sheets for materals recovery facilities, resident outreach materials, and more.