AB 1826 - Commercial & Multi-Family Organics Recycling

What is Assembly Bill (AB) 1826?

In October of 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1826 Chesbro (Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014), requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. Effective January 1, 2016, AB 1826 (Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling) places requirements on businesses, multi-family residences and jurisdictions to divert organic waste from the landfills.

AB 1826 is superseded by California's Senate Bill (SB) 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, which requires the State to divert 75% of the waste stream (base line of 2014 waste) AND donate/recover 20% of edible surplus food from the landfill by the year 2025. Unlike AB 1826, SB 1383's regulations include enforcement actions, such as the issuance of monetary fines, for those without a recycling program. To learn more about SB 1383 and its requirements, please visit this page.

What is Organic Waste?

Organic waste is defined as anything derived from plants or animals, such as: 

  • Food scraps - all solid, semi-solid, and liquid food such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, pasta
  • Food-soiled paper - uncoated paper soiled by food waste such as napkins, paper towels, paper cups, paper fast food wrappers and take-out boxes, cardboard egg cartons, food-soiled pizza boxes
  • Yard trimmings - grass clippings, leaves, flowers, hedge clippings, and weeds
  • Non-hazardous wood waste - tree branches, tree trunks, and untreated lumber

Who is Required to Have Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Services?

Under SB 1383, everyone (businesses, residents, public agencies) is required to have organics recycling service. AB 1826 specifically addresses commercial businesses and multi-family residential complexes with 5 or more units: 

  • Commercial businesses must recycle all organics, including food scraps and yard/green waste.
    • Effective September 15, 2020, all businesses generating 2 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste and 20 gallons or more of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling service
    • If you have received a noncompliance letter and would like to request a "de minimis" or space constraint exemption, please complete the AB 1826 Exemption Request Form and send it back to the City for review. In 2024, a revised form will be available to you. If approved, the exemption is valid for 5 years. 
  • Multi-family residential complexes with 5 or more units are required to recycle their yard/green waste (e.g. landscaping). At this time, multi-family complexes are encouraged to recycle food waste but are not required to do so. More updates will be provided once this becomes available.  

The City of Placentia, in conjunction with its hauler Republic Services, has identified the businesses that will be regulated within each tier and will be performing ongoing outreach, education, and monitoring. In addition, the City is also required to monitor activities to identify those not recycling and to inform them of the law and how to recycle organics in the jurisdiction.

How do I Comply with AB 1826? 

  • Donate food to a food bank or food rescue organization if your business generates edible surplus food. Written agreement/contract with organization is required for proof of diversion. For more information regarding the documentation requirements, please view CalRecycle's Model Food Recovery Agreement. Here are a few organizations that can support your business in implementing a food donation/recovery program: 
  • Subscribe to an organics collection program provided by Republic Services by calling them at (714) 238-3300.
  • Backhaul or self-haul to a composting facility. 

If you would like further support with AB 1826/SB 1383 compliance, or to report your business’ diversion efforts, please contact the Elsa Robinson, Senior Management Analyst at (714) 993-8189 or by email at erobinson@placentia.org. 

Additional AB 1826 Resources

Assembly Bill  (AB) 827 - Customer Access to Recycling

AB827Effective July 1, 2020, MCR and MORe-regulated businesses must provide recycling and organics recycling containers at the front-of-house to collect waste generated from the products purchased and consumed on the premises (AB 827, McCarty). These containers must be placed adjacent to trash containers and be visible, easily accessible, and clearly marked.

AB 827 is intended to educate and involve consumers in achieving the state’s recycling goals by requiring businesses subject to MCR and/or MORe to make recycling and/or organic recycling bins available to customers. This law targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption. AB 827 states that businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste must provide their customers with recycling containers that are visible, accessible, and adjacent to each trash container. While AB827 requirements only pertain to a limited-service food establishment, full-service restaurants are required to provide properly labeled next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers. 

The legislative text for AB 827 can be found here. Examples of labels made by CalRecycle can be used for compliance and can be found here