Commercial Organics Recycling

commercial organics bin

Every city and county in California is currently required to divert 50% of their waste from going to the landfill. In the past several years, California has passed organics recycling laws, to help reduce waste and gas emissions, and to help meet the new 75% diversion goal. Read below to get familiar with organics recycling and find out what new laws might apply to your business or multifamily property.

What is Organic Waste?

Organic waste means food scraps, food-soiled paper waste, yard trimmings, and nonhazardous wood waste. These items make up approximately 30% of California’s waste and release greenhouse gases when they decompose in landfills. Instead, these organic materials can be recycled and used to make compost or mulch when taken to a compost facility.

Food Scraps
Food-Soiled Paper
Yard Trimmings

AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (MORe)

In October 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1826, which requires certain businesses and multifamily properties to arrange for organic recycling services for the collection of food waste, green waste, and food-soiled paper. Food waste and food-soiled paper collection is not required for multifamily properties, only green waste.

As of 2020, businesses and multifamily properties that generate 2 cubic yards or more of waste and recycling combined per week, are required to do one of the following:

  • Subscribe to Organics Recycling Services: Contact Waste Management at (530) 662-8748 to add organics recycling services to collect organic waste. Site visits are available to assess service level needs.
  • Reduce What You Generate: Reduce the amount of waste (including organics and recyclable materials) that you generate to under 2 cubic yards or less per week. Businesses and multifamily properties that have minimal waste are not subject to AB 1826 requirements.
  • Submit an Annual Exemption:If your business or multifamily property meets one of the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an exemption and will not need to subscribe to organics recycling services through Waste Management.
    • Lack of available space
    • Alternative organics recycling methods
    • Self-hauling organics materials
    • Does not meet minimum organic waste generation

Businesses: Click here to apply for an AB 1826 (MORe) Exemption
Multifamily Properties: Click here to submit AB 1826 (MORe) Exemption

Exemptions will only be granted to those with qualifying proof of a reason listed above. Site visits may be needed for exemption approval. Exemptions will need to be renewed on an annual basis. Failure to renew exemptions may result in non-compliance of AB 1826. 

SB 1383: Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP)
Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reduction

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1383, establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of California's economy, including methane emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills that contribute to global climate change. 

SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to reduce the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills (50% reduction by 2020 and 75% by 2025). It also sets a goal to rescue at least 20% of currently disposed edible food by 2025 and redirect that food to people in need.

Mandatory Services

Beginning January 1, 2022, organics recycling will be mandatory for all residents, businesses, and multifamily properties throughout Woodland. Under SB 1383, organic waste also includes fiber materials such as paper and cardboard, which means separate recycling services will also be required for all entities.

Food Recovery

According to studies, 1 in 5 Californians are food-insecure. The food recovery requirement of SB 1383 aims to reduce edible food sent to landfills and redirect it to those that need it most. Businesses that generate edible food will need to contract with edible food recovery organizations to donate edible food and keep records of donated food. 

Food generating businesses will be required to donate edible food by the schedule listed below depending on whether they fall under the Tier 1 or Tier 2 category:

  • January 1, 2022: Tier 1 Food Generators
    Includes wholesale food vendors, food service providers, food distributors, large grocery stores and supermarkets
  • January 1, 2024: Tier 2 Food Generators
    Includes large hotels, health facilities, restaurants, state agency cafeterias, and local education agencies

For more information on the food recovery requirements of SB 1383, visit CalRecycle's Food Recovery webpage

Resources for Commercial Organics Recycling

Make organics recycling successful at your business through these printable flyers:

City of Woodland and Waste Management staff is here to help make organics recycling successful at your business. Site visits, training, and other resources are available.

Contact

If your business meets these thresholds and would like more information, or would like to arrange for organics recycling services, please contact the following:

  • Waste Management: 530-662-8748
  • City of Woodland Recycling Program: 530-661-2059