By Lori Somers
Community and Municipal Relations Representative
On September 28, 2014, the State of California adopted Assembly Bill 1826 which requires businesses and multifamily properties to recycle their organic waste materials. Organic waste is considered food scraps and food-soiled paper, green landscape and pruning waste including leaves and grass, and non hazardous wood waste like wooden pallets or crates.
Organic materials account for nearly one-third of the approximately 30 million tons of waste destined for California landfills each year. AB 1826 is designed to reduce greenhouse emissions by diverting waste from landfills and help reach California’s recycling goal of 75 percent by the year 2020.
Initially, most businesses required to have organics recycling are those with food generating businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, commissaries, food banks and multifamily complexes of five or more units, with green waste or yard trimmings. After January 1, 2019, all businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, regardless of type, must arrange for organic waste recycling services.
As part of an ongoing education and outreach campaign about AB 1826, the City of Carlsbad and the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosted workshops earlier this year. Representatives from CalRecycle gave presentations that outlined the new mandate and educated businesses on how they could reduce the amount of food waste that goes to waste.
If you are a business in Carlsbad, here is what you need to know about AB 1826:
- As of April 1, 2016 businesses who generate at least eight cubic yards of organic/food waste per week, are required to have a recycling program.
- Beginning January 1, 2017 businesses who generate four cubic yards of organic/food waste per week will also be required to have a recycling program.
Businesses can meet the mandatory organics recycling requirements through any of the following:
- Don’t throw food away, donate it.
- Learn about food waste and how to prevent it.
- Take landscaping/wood waste to regional recycling center.
- Follow federal guidelines for food recovery.