Legislative Issues Affecting Waste and Recycling

ASSEMBLY BILL 341 - MANDATORY RECYCLING FOR BUSINESSES AND MULTIFAMILY DWELLING UNITS

The commercial sector generates nearly three-fourths of the waste in California much of which is recyclable. The Mandatory Recycling Law (AB 341) states that businesses, including public entities, generating four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services starting July 1, 2012. Businesses can take one or any combination of the following to divert solid waste from disposal: self-haul, subscribe to a hauler(s), arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials, and/ or subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation. Visit the CalRecycle website for more information about the Mandatory Recycling Law. Please contact Republic Services Recycling Coordinator to sign up for recycling or find out about your recycling options for compliance.

ASSEMBLY BILL 1826 - MANDATORY ORGANICS RECYCLING FOR BUSINESSES AND MULTIFAMILY DWELLING UNITS

In October 2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1826, 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 required that on and after January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state are to 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 as of yet). Organic waste means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.

The law phased in the requirements for businesses over time.  In 2020 the law triggered a further increase in the scope of affected businesses. As such, in September of 2020, CalRecycle reduced the threshold from 4 to 2 cubic yards of solid waste (solid waste is the total of trash, recycling, and organics) generated by covered businesses. For example, those businesses or multifamily complexes (5 or more units) generating 2 cubic yards or more each week of solid waste must adhere. Visit the CalRecycle website for more information about the Mandatory Organics Recycling Law for businesses and multifamily complexes. Please contact Republic Services Recycling Coordinator to sign up for organics recycling or find out about your organics recycling options for compliance.

SENATE BILL 1383 - COMING SOON! MANDATORY ORGANICS RECYCLING FOR RESIDENTIAL

Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383, passed in 2016) is the most significant waste reduction mandate to be adopted in California in the last 30 years. SB 1383 requires the state to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025. Currently, organics comprise two-thirds of the waste disposed of in California landfills. Organic waste includes lawn and landscaping debris, wood and lumber, food, and fibers, such as paper and cardboard. The law also requires the state to increase edible food recovery by 20% by 2025. The goal of SB 1383 is to reduce methane emissions at landfills. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is produced when organics break down in landfills. Landfills are the third-largest emitter of methane in the State of California. Meeting the requirements of SB 1383 will require the coordinated efforts of state and local governments, businesses, and residents. Planning is now underway across California to ensure that the needed programs and services are in place within the next year. These new requirements are going to change the way residents dispose of their solid waste and recyclables. Stay tuned for more information and upcoming changes to your services and possibly rates over the next year or so. Visit the CalRecycle website for more information about the Mandatory Organics Recycling law for residential.