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Organic waste is defined as food waste, green waste (landscape trimmings), nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
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California Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 sets requirements for some businesses and multifamily properties to recycle organic waste. As of January 1, 2019, businesses and multifamily residential dwellings of five or more units that generate more than four cubic yards of solid waste per week must arrange for organic materials to be diverted from the landfill. While businesses must divert all organic waste from disposal, multifamily properties are only required to recycle green waste at this time.
The City of Del Mar or Solana Center can tell you if the new regulations apply to you. You can also use the Generator ID tool developed by CalRecycle which allows businesses to determine if you meet the thresholds and need to implement an organic diversion program.
Businesses can meet diversion requirements through one or more of these actions:
See more diversion options and recommendations on our Ways to Comply with AB 1826
If a business generates both food and green waste, then it is required to divert both material types from all sources at the location.
A business that is required to divert organic waste from disposal will not be in compliance with the law if it only arranges for diversion for some of the organic waste it generates. For example, a store with commercial green waste recycling would not be in compliance if its food waste is sent to the landfill (i.e., put in trash dumpster) rather than recycling it.
The following are the 5 types of organic waste identified in the law that need to be addressed: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, an environmental non-profit, specializes in waste diversion practices and can provide help with any of the above actions. While funding is available, the City of Del Mar subsidizes the cost of Solana Center consulting to businesses.