In October 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1826 into law (Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014) requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. Organic waste means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time. In particular, the minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, which means that an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply.
By April 1, 2016, compliance was required by businesses generating 8 cubic yards of organic waste per week. By January 1, 2017, compliance was required by businesses generating 4 cubic yards of organic waste per week. On January 1, 2019, compliance was required by businesses generating 4 cubic yards of solid waste per week. On January 1, 2020, CalRecycle, the state's environmental agency, may require compliance by businesses generating 2 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week if the statewide disposal of organic waste is not reduced by half.
Multi-family complexes are not required to have a food waste diversion program; however, those with 5+ units generating enough landscape related organics will be require to recycle that waste. Currently in the San Diego region, there is adequate capacity for recycling landscape and clean wood waste. However, the capacity needed to meet the demand for diverting all food waste is under construction. As a result, the City of San Marcos and EDCO will be working closely with our food waste generating customers through the following tiered priority approach:
- Prevention of food waste: This helps businesses' bottom lines. To learn more visit: Save the Food San Diego.
- Donation of edible food: One in five San Diego residents do not know where their next meal is coming from
while regionally, almost 500,000 tons of food waste is sent to the landfill. To learn more visit:
Food Donation Guide for San Diego County Businesses.
- Collection of non-edible food: After all possible means of food waste prevention and donation of edible food have been pursued, remaining food waste materials will be collected for recycling.
The City of San Marcos is contacting businesses about this state requirement and informing them about how they can comply. Additional information about organics recycling services will be posted on this page as it becomes available. In the meantime, additional information can be found on CalRecycle's Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling website.