California's Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
Last fall, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826) into law. This new law expands on the success of California’s commercial recycling law (AB 341), which took effect in 2012. However, AB 1826 targets a specific component of commercial waste—organics, such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, green waste, and landscape and pruning waste. Organics constitute about one-third of the waste disposed in California landfills each year.
The new law phases in recycling requirements for organics. First, by April 1, 2016, businesses that create 8 or more cubic yards of organics per week, such as large supermarkets, convention centers, venues, and food processors, will be required to recycle this material. Many of these large businesses already have organics waste recycling programs in place or have plans under way. Second, on January 1, 2017, businesses that create 4 or more cubic yards of organics per week, such as large restaurants, will also be required to begin recycling this material. Finally, by January 1, 2019, all businesses that generate 4 or more cubic yards of any type of solid waste per week will be required to recycle organics.
To comply with the law, businesses will have the option of recycling organic waste on-site, self-hauling organics to a recycling facility, contracting for separated collection and recycling, or subscribing to a mixed waste processing service that captures and recycles organic waste.
Organics can be recycled by composting or by conversion to renewable energy through a process known as anaerobic digestion. Compost has many landscape and agricultural uses. Anaerobic digestion, which breaks down organics using bacteria in an enclosed, oxygen-free space, creates two useful products: biogas and solid residue. Biogas can be used to power electric generators or as a vehicle fuel. Solid residue can be used as a soil amendment in certain types of agriculture.
Recycling organics keeps material out of landfills, creates California jobs, results in useful products, and reduces our production of greenhouse gases.
Republic Services is proud to offer the following services to help your business comply with AB 1826:
Republic’s experienced staff can conduct a waste audit to determine your organics recycling needs. These audits can look at everything from the composition of the waste stream to the distance to recycling facilities to determine the steps that will ultimately result in the lowest environmental impact and the highest level of environmental protection.
Educational Program and Material
Republic can develop and help your business implement the right program to fit your needs, by providing educational materials for you and your staff. This is to help ensure that you are recycling the organics properly and to make sure the process is a smooth one.
CalRecycle Food Scrap Management
CalRecycle Food Banks and Recovery (Rescue) Organizations
California's Mandatory Commercial Recycling Regulation
What is AB 341?
In January 2012, Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341) was signed into law in California to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. AB 341, also called the "Mandatory Commercial Recycling Regulation," requires businesses that generate more than four cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week and multi-family residential dwellings of five units or more to implement recycling programs, on or after July 1, 2012. The regulatory approach to this legislation has been designed to be extremely flexible.
Why a New Recycling Law?
According to the State of California, businesses and multi-family residents in California generate more than 23 million tons of waste every year, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the State's waste.
What is the Goal?
Under AB 939, municipalities are required to divert 50 percent of their waste stream from the landfill. AB 341 sets a new statewide goal for 75 percent disposal reduction by the year 2020.
Republic Services is a recognized leader in providing waste recycling solutions in an environmentally responsible manner. As your City's franchise hauler, we are committed to providing comprehensive recycling programs designed to help you comply with this new regulation.
In addition to mixed waste processing, we are proud to offer a variety of recycling services and equipment to efficiently and economically meet your needs.
What do you need to do to comply with the new law?
By participating in Republic Services' All-In-One collection program your business is compliant with the AB 341 requirements. You can improve recovery by placing all DRY and LOOSE recyclable materials into the collection container without a bag.
Industrial customers that generate large quantities of recyclable materials may benefit by participating in one of our source separated collection programs.
Republic Services' process starts with listening to our customers. Our field representatives work with you to identify and implement a materials management program that best meets your needs. For some of our largest customers, strategic and targeted waste audits are likely the best way to identify the most sustainable cost-effective solutions for waste stream reduction and recycling.
Investing In Your Future
Republic Services continues to invest in proven technologies to control costs and to simplify and streamline recycling for our customers. Our advanced single-steam sorting equipment includes disk screens, magnets and optical sorters to identify and separate different kinds of paper, metals, plastics and other materials to increase efficiency and maximize your efforts.
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