Organic Waste Laws and California Businesses

Food Waste

Waste Reduction and AB 1826

California's AB 1826 requires all businesses in the state that produce over 4 cubic yards of solid waste per week to have mandatory organic waste recycling in place beginning January, 2019. This means diverting all food waste and other organic material from the waste bins (landfill) to be recycled and eventually composted in some way.

About AB 1826

Mandatory recycling of organic waste (food waste and compostable materials) is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. In October 2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1826, requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016. This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time.

Implementation Dates and Thresholds

  • April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.

  • January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.

  • January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Cost Saving Opportunity for California Businesses

This is a great opportunity to not only comply with organic recycling laws, but to become more efficient in your waste management practices, engage employees around sustainability and communicate your waste efforts to customers and other stakeholders. There is likely a lot of money to be saved every month.

A new landmark study on the business case for reducing waste has shown that in 1,200 business sites across 17 countries and 700 companies that have implemented food loss and food waste reduction programs, 99% of them earned a positive return on investment. The median benefit-cost ratio for these 700 companies implementing food waste reduction programs was 14:1, meaning for every $1 invested, the median site realized a return of $14 in savings.

Let Us Do All the Work

Here is how we can help:

  1. We will conduct a waste assessment of your business to understand the amount of organic waste being created and provide you with a waste audit report with details on waste stream and future opportunities for reduction.

  2. We will provide recommendations for programs and initiatives that help you first reduce the overall amount of organic waste being created within your facilities. It is important to first rethink and redesign operations to reduce waste before it is created and then focus on recycling options for what remains.

  3. We will help you identify vendors and set up necessary systems to establish organic waste recycling for your business to be in compliance.

  4. We will provide resources for employee training on new organic waste recycling practices.

  5. With organic waste now diverted from the waste stream, we will help you resize your waste dumpsters and the frequency of waste pickups to fit your lower waste streams. This is where you save money!!

  6. We will develop a solutions sheet based on what we learned from your audit with strategies and resources to further reduce waste through purchasing practices and operational improvements.

Sustainability Consulting Firm Specializing in Zero Waste

Our team of accredited TRUE Advisors have provided zero waste and sustainability consulting services for organizations of all types and of all sizes, from three-person startup businesses to Fortune 200 companies. Sustridge also produces and hosts the Sustainable Nation Podcast, with many episodes focusing on zero waste that may be valuable for those looking to reduce waste.