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Recycling - Business/Apartments/Multi-Family
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State Law now requires that all businesses that generate 3 or more cubic yards of waste weekly to recycle.
State Law requires that apartment communities/multi-family housing with 5 or more units must recycle. Apartment owners are required to offer recycling and residents are required by law to recycle.

AB 939: Integrated Waste Management Act

In 1989, AB 939 established the current organization, structure and mission of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The purpose was to direct attention to the increasing waste stream and decreasing
landfill capacity in the state, and to mandate a reduction of waste being disposed.

AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling

A business (includes public entities) that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services. Businesses can take one or any combination of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:

  • Self-haul.
  • Subscribe to a hauler(s).
  • Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.
  • Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.

Starting in 2016, businesses, including commercial or public entities like schools, hospitals, stores, restaurants, industrial businesses, for-profit or nonprofit organizations, residential dwellings with 5+ units, and others must recycle their organic waste over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019.

AB 1826 Mandatory Organics Recycling

  • April 1, 2016 –
    Businesses that generate 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week
  • January 1, 2017 –
    Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of organic waste per week
  • January 1, 2019 –
    Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week
  • Summer/Fall 2021 *Businesses that generate 2 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week
    *Takes effect if CalRecycle determines that statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduce by 50% of 2014 level. For more information visit: www.calrecycle.ca.gov

AB 1826 defines compostable organic waste to mean food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. [Section 42649.8(c) of the Public Resources Code and pursuant to Assembly Bill 1826 (2014)].
Businesses can meet the mandatory organics recycling requirements through any of the following:

  • Source separate organic waste from other waste and participate in a waste recycling service that includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
  • Recycle its organic waste on site, or self-haul its organic waste off site for recycling.
  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.

Organics recycling requirements depend on the amount of organic waste generated by the business each week (see chart below). Targeted materialtypes include food, food soiled paper, green material and/or wood waste. The minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, so a larger proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply in the new organics recycling requirements in the coming years.