Sonoma Garbage Collectors​


California’s Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Law, AB 1826, requires certain businesses to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

When did the law take effect?

Starting January 1st 2019, AB 1826 will require businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of solid waste to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

What is the purpose of the law?

Mandatory recycling of organic waste is the next step toward achieving California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. California disposes approximately 30 million tons of waste in landfills each year, of which more than 30 percent could be used for compost or mulch.
Organic waste such as green materials and food materials are recyclable through composting and mulching, and through anaerobic digestion, which can produce renewable energy and fuel.

What is organic waste?

Organic waste as defined in the law includes the following material: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.

Which businesses must comply with the law?

Businesses and public entities, including but not limited to a firm, partnership, proprietorship joint stock company, corporation, or association that is organized as a for-profit or nonprofit entity, strip mall (e.g., property complex containing two or more commercial entities), industrial facility, school, school district, California State University, community colleges, University of California, special district or a federal, state, local, regional agency or facility.

A business is required to comply with the new law if it generates a certain amount of waste after the specified date.

Multifamily Residential Dwelling A multifamily dwelling that consists of five or more units are required to recycle their green waste, but are not required to arrange for organic recycling services for food waste, including food-soiled paper.

Implementation Dates

Date Amount of Organic Waste Generated/Week
April 1, 2016 8 cubic yards (cy) of organic waste/week
January 1, 2017 4 cubic yards of organic waste/week
January 1, 2019 4 cubic yards of municipal solid waste/week
Fall 2021 If a 50% reduction of organic waste disposal has not been met, businesses generating 2 cubic yards of commercial solid waste/week will be required to implement organics recycling.

Where does the law NOT apply?

Multifamily dwellings of five units or more that generate the required threshold of organics or solid waste are not required to arrange for organic recycling services for food waste

Multifamily dwellings of less than five units.
Single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums.

How to get started?

A business that meets the waste generation threshold shall engage in one of the following organic recycling activities:

Source separate organic waste from other waste and participate in a waste recycling service that includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
Recycle organic waste on site, or self-haul organic waste off site for recycling.
Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.

Business Assistance

Get a free on-site waste assessment.
Sonoma County Recycling Guide (English & Spanish versions).
Posters/letters for organics recycling education and education about the law.
Education outreach events

Staff trainings
Custodial & housekeeping trainings
Multifamily complex community events
Multifamily complex door-to-door outreach
School/kids presentations

For more information and to schedule outreach, contact us at
or (707) 565-2413 or (707) 565-3375.