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Commercial Recycling

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San Joaquin County prides itself on being a green, sustainable community.  As a county, we have already achieved and surpassed California’s 50 percent waste diversion mandate, and are well on our way to meeting the 75 percent mandate before the 2020 deadline. As we look forward, new regulatory drivers, such as Assembly Bill 341 and Assembly Bill 1826, will provide the groundwork for an even more sustainable future.  

Further increasing the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste in our community means that everyone will have to pitch in and re-evaluate their disposal methods.  Commercial and multi-family properties, generating nearly 75% of the solid waste in California, have the greatest opportunity to reduce our waste impact.  Much of this waste—consisting of 50% recyclables and 35% food waste, green waste, and other organics—can be recycled into valuable new goods and materials.  For this reason, businesses and multi-family dwellings of five or more units have been required since 2012 to collect recycling, and will soon need to plan to add organics (food and green waste) recycling to their operations.

The current compliance requirements for each law are:

 Law  Jan 1, 2017  Jan 1, 2019
 AB 341 -

 Mandatory Commercial 

 4 Cubic Yards per
 week of Trash

 4 Cubic Yards per
 week of Trash

 AB 1826 - 
 Mandatory Organics Recycling

 4 Cubic Yards per
 week of Organics
 4 Cubic Yards per
 week of Trash

FAQ - Mandatory Organics Recycling (MORe) - AB 1826

 Question Answer 
What is organic waste? Organic waste, as defined in AB 1826, includes the following materials: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper.
What is organics recycling?   Organic material can be processed in several ways to create a variety of valuable products. Composting, mulching, anaerobic digestion, and rendering are examples of “recycling” organics.  
What is the purpose of the new State law, AB 1826? To reduce greenhouse emissions by diverting commercial and multi-family residential organic waste through organics recycling. This will keep valuable materials out of landfills and create jobs.
How will this State law impact my business or property? Establishing an organics recycling program can provide an opportunity for businesses to reduce the cost of their refuse collection.
What do I need to do to comply? Contact your refuse hauler for assistance in determining how many cubic yards of organic waste per week your business generates. This will determine when you will need to comply with AB 1826.

If your business generates eight or more cubic yards of organic waste: 
  • Assess options for decreasing your quantity of organic waste.
  • Consider changes to operations that could reduce organic waste at the source, or participation in a food donation/rescue program.  Work with your neighborhood food bank to donate extra food products.
  • Determine your property’s space needs and location for the collection of organics.
  • Review your hauler service agreements and contact your hauler to set up organics recycling service.
  • Prepare for adding organics recycling to your business’s operations. Add organics recycling containers to your facility. Train staff to separate organic waste.  Get signs and flyers to help in education of staff.
  • Add organics recycling to your waste operations by April 1, 2016.
I have limited space for containers. How do I comply? If a private hauler provides your refuse collection, contact your hauler for assistance.  They can help you in providing smaller trash containers and adjusting your service levels so that organics recycling containers can be added.
Will my collection schedule change? Establishing an organics recycling program will divert organics from your waste stream. You may be able to reduce the frequency of refuse service for your business. Consult with your hauler to determine your collection needs.

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