In October of 2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1826 Chesbro, 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 requires that on and after January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state 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).
Definitions - Organic waste
Organic waste means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
Implementation Dates and Thresholds
The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units,* over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019. Additionally, the law contains a 2020 trigger that will increase the scope of affected businesses, if waste reduction targets are not met. The implementation schedule is as follows:
• January 1, 2016: Local jurisdictions shall have an organic waste recycling program in place. Jurisdictions shall conduct outreach, education to inform businesses how to recycle organic waste in the jurisdiction, and monitoring to identify those not recycling and inform them of the law and how to recycle organic waste.
• April 1, 2016: Businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
• January 1, 2017: Businesses that generate four cubic yards of organic waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
• August 1, 2017 and Ongoing: Jurisdictions shall provide information about their organic waste recycling program implementation in the annual report submitted to CalRecycle. (See above for description of information to be provided.)
• Fall 2018: After receipt of the 2016 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2017, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of those jurisdictions that are on a two-year review cycle.
• January 1, 2019: Businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for organic waste recycling services.
• Fall 2020: After receipt of the 2019 annual reports submitted on August 1, 2020, CalRecycle shall conduct its formal review of all jurisdictions.
• Summer/Fall 2021: If CalRecycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduced by 50 percent of the level of disposal during 2014, the organic recycling requirements on businesses will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week. Additionally certain exemptions, previously discussed, may no longer be available if this target is not met.
Separation of the food waste at the source (In the kitchen) will be important in the success of this program. Attached is a poster that can be downloaded and put up in every place that food waste and other trash will be discarded.
Food Waste Recycling Poster
Your waste service provider will be offering separate food waste recycling starting no later than April 1, 2016. This will also mean that you may want to reduce the size of you general trash bin by the amount of food you produce weekly. If you recycle your cardboard and other common recyclable materials, (Bottles, plastic, metal, paper, etc.) along with food waste you may discover that your trash container will be the smallest of them all.