California Organics Recycling Regulations

Updated: July 2021


The landfill has long been the accepted destination for food and other organic waste. However, this is changing, especially in California with passage of the 2014, California Mandatory Organics Recycling Program (AB 1826). The goal of AB 1826 is to reduce the amount of organic waste that covered businesses send to landfills by half of the 2014 amount. As of January 1, 2019, covered businesses will include retailers and other businesses that generate more than 4 cubic yards of commercial waste each week. These businesses will need to arrange for organic waste recycling services or take steps to recycle their organic waste onsite. While AB 1826 will apply across California, the Program is being implemented at the local level. Therefore, the specific requirements and potential penalties can vary across the State.

This fact sheet lays out the elements of AB 1826 that may apply to retailers and trends in organics recycling across California's local jurisdictions.


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