How to fulfill AB 1826 requirements

What Can Businesses Do?

The City is working with its hauler, Waste Management, to establish an organic waste recycling service for Del Mar. Meanwhile, the City is asking business owners and managers to take one or more of these steps to comply with AB 1826:

  • Schedule a Less to Landfill waste assessment to identify how you can reduce waste
  • Arrange for green waste recycling services with Waste Management (1-866-WMRECYCLE)
  • Donate surplus food to local food banks and pantries
  • Explore on-site composting options with support from Solana Center for Environmental Innovation
  • Self-haul landscape trimmings off-site to a compost/mulch facility
  • Separate organic waste for collection and disposal by an organic waste recycling service, with guidance from Solana Center

 Additional information can be found on the CalRecycle website and Del Mar’s Zero Waste website. Solana Center is also available to help identify the best solution for your business. Contact them at (760) 436-7986 x700 or 

Food Recovery Hierarchy

Businesses can make efforts to fulfill AB 1826 requirements by following the Environmental Protection Agency hierarchy. The higher on the pyramid the greater the benefit for the environment, society, and the economy.

First conduct a waste audit: examining your waste stream for amount, type, and reason for the generation of wasted food will help you create effective wasted food prevention strategies. Schedule a Less to Landfill waste assessment for assistance.

Source Reduction

Source reduction means reducing the production of waste in the first place. 

Implement Reduction Habits:

  • Adjust purchasing inventory to match customer ordering
  • Make commonly uneaten items options or only by request
  • Examine storage and preparation practices
  • Reduce portion size on dishes that are consistently unfinished

Read more information and tips about reducing food waste. 

Feed Hungry People

Businesses can direct surplus edible food to not-for-profit organizations and food banks that distribute food to people in need. Under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act food donors who give food in good faith by following proper food safety guidelines are not subject to liability. Food donations may qualify your business for tax benefits (discuss with your tax professional).

Follow Food Donation Guidelines

  • Ensure food is kept at safe temperatures
  • Examine food for signs of decay, spoilage, mold or odors
  • Keep packaged items in original packaging
  • Protect from contamination (foods previously served to consumer cannot be donated)

Find a local Food Bank

For more information on donating food and other guidelines to reduce food waste, please visit CalRecycle: Food Rescue and Food Banks.

Feed Animals

If your food waste is mostly plant-based or can be separated from non-plant based waste, you may be able to send your properly handled food waste to farmers for animal feed.

For information about local options:

  • Look for haulers in your area that offer this option or contact Solana Center for assistance
  • Contact local solid waste, county agricultural extension office or public health agency

Learn more about reducing food waste by feeding animals on the EPA's website

Industrial Uses

Facilities for the San Diego region are in development and currently not available. Industrial uses refers to the use of organic waste to generate biofuel energy. For more information on industrial use, please visit the EPA website. The City is working with its hauler and others in the San Diego jurisdiction to help increase the local processing capacity of this option.


If your organic waste cannot be used to feed humans or animals, composting is the best way to recycle that material, and is used to improve soils, grow crops, and conserve water. Currently, the City only provides hauling options for green waste (yard waste), not food waste. 

For commercial & multi-family properties, you may subscribe to green waste services through Waste Management or choose to process green waste through the use of a landscaping service. If your commercial or multi-family property utilizes a landscaping services to manage green waste, as of January 1, 2020, the material can no longer be taken to a landfill for use as alternative daily cover (ADC) as this is counted as disposal pursuant to AB 1594. The landscaper is required to take the green waste to a facility that recycles the material (ex. composting). If you contract for green material services with a landscaper, you are required to stipulate in the landscaping contract that the green material collected from the commercial or multi-family property be recycled in order to divert the material and be in compliance with AB 1826.

Arrange for green waste recycling services here: Waste Management (1-866-WMRECYCLE)

The City is working with its hauler and others in the San Diego jurisdiction to implement food waste hauling services for local businesses. Until those services are available, other options for recycling your food waste include:

Incineration or landfill

Both incineration and sending organic waste to the landfill are considered to be a failure to divert for beneficial use and are out of compliance with AB 1826.