Ways to fulfill AB 1826 requirements

What can businesses do?

Businesses can make efforts to fulfill AB 1826 requirements by following the Environmental Protection Agency hierarchy:  


Food Recovery Hierarchy
Source Reduction

Source reduction means reducing the production of waste in the first place. Local businesses such as restaurants can make efforts to reduce the amount of organic waste produced by making right sized restaurant portions, decreasing paper waste and pre-processing off-site.
Conduct a waste audit: Measure the amount, type, and reason for the generation of wasted food, and know how much and why wasted food is generated to create effective wasted food prevention strategies.

Implement Reduction Habits: Businesses such as restaurant owners can take steps such as compare purchasing inventory with customer ordering; modify menus to increase customer satisfaction, and prevent and reduce uneaten food; and examine production and handling practices to prevent and reduce preparation waste. Environmental Protection Agency has more suggestions on their website.

Feed Hungry People

Businesses can direct surplus food to firms that distribute food to people in need. Research Good Samaritan Law to dispel myths about liability, and give food to not-for-profit organizations and food banks, and also let employees take unused food home.

For more information on donating food and other guidelines to reduce food waste, please visit CalRecycle webpage.

Feed Animals

Restaurants can match with firms that process food waste into animal feed – pelletized for livestock and fish farming. If handled properly and safely, food scraps can be donated to animals. By donating food scraps to animals, farmers and companies can save money. You can contact local solid waste, county agricultural extension office or public health agency for information. Also visit the EPA's website for more information.

Industrial Uses

Businesses can use the process of in-vessel composting to generate industrial biogas and biofuels. For more information on industrial use, please visit the website. The San Diego region currently has very limited processing capacity. The City is working with its hauler and others in San Diego jurisdiction to help increase the local processing capacity.


Compost is used to improve soils, grow crops, and improve water quality. Aerobic composting creating soil amendments and reducing volume. As in the case of in-vessel composting, aerobic composting opportunities are also limited for food waste. The City is working with its hauler and others in San Diego jurisdiction to help increase the local processing capacity.

Incineration or landfill

Last on the list, landfilling of any non- recyclable components. Considered to be a failure to divert for beneficial use.

City Implementation plan

The City will ensure that all businesses have green waste collection service (through landscaper or hauler).

The City will review subscription levels to determine if any businesses can move to a lower tier of organic waste generation and also assist businesses in reducing generation through waste generation measures.

The City will focus on outreach to businesses to adopt the waste reduction and food recycling aspects of the hierarchy.

The City will provide resources and education.

The City currently does not plan to require transportation to a processing facility until affordable local capacity develops.

AB 1826 does not have enforcement provisions. It is the goal of the City to achieve compliance through the steps indicated above, and through voluntary participation of the business community. If compliance cannot be achieved, the City may need to implement ordinances for the enforcement of the provision of AB 1826.