Back to Top

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

In 2014, California adopted AB 1826, the Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Measure to divert organic waste generated by businesses and multifamily dwellings of five or more units. Mandatory recycling of organic waste is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic wastes in landfills have been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change.

Learn more about Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling on CalRecycle’s site.


What kind of business does this law apply to?

“Business” means any commercial or public entity that generates four (4) or more cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week, including but not limited to, a firm, partnership, proprietorship, joint-stock company, corporation, or association that is organized as a for-profit or non-profit entity, strip mall (e.g. property complex containing two or more commercial entities), industrial facility, school, school district, community colleges, special district or a federal, state, local, regional agency or facility.


What is organic waste?

Organic waste (or organics) means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. Please note that unlike businesses, multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program.


How to Comply

  • Separate organic waste from other waste and subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that specifically includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
  • Recycle organic waste on-site, or self-haul organic waste for organic recycling.
  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that includes mixed-waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.
  • Sell or donate the generated organic waste.


Contact your local recycling coordinator for help!

Your community may have mandatory commercial organics recycling ordinances with different thresholds or more specific requirements than the state law. Reach out to your local recycling coordinator for specific requirements and resources to help your business become a successful organics recycler under the law.