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Commercial Recycling Regulations

Commercial Recycling Regulations

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, is a department within the California Environmental Protection Agency. 

CalRecycle administers and provides oversight for all of California’s state-managed waste handling and recycling programs. Known mostly for overseeing beverage container and electronic-waste recycling, CalRecycle is also responsible for organics management, used tires, used motor oil, carpet, paint, mattresses, rigid plastic containers, plastic film wrap, newsprint, construction and demolition debris, medical sharps waste, household hazardous waste, and food-scrap composting.

California Assembly Bill 341 - Mandatory Commercial Recycling

California Assembly Bill (AB) 341 requires all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of garbage per week and multi-family dwellings with five or more units to recycle. Businesses include, but are not limited to, office buildings, retail, restaurants, nonprofits, and strip malls. Multi-family dwellings include apartment buildings and attached single-family dwellings such as townhouses and condominiums, and mobilehome parks, in which the units do not receive separate or individual solid waste collection service. 

Subscribing to recyclable materials collection services through the City’s contracted waste hauler will help ensure compliance with AB341 and can even help reduce collection costs.

For more information see:

CalRecycle- Mandatory Commercial Recycling

California Assembly Bill 1826 - Mandatory Organics Recycling

California Assembly Bill 1826 (AB1826) was signed into law in 2014, mandating organics recycling for businesses in California. By 2020, all businesses in California producing 2 cubic yards or more of garbage per week are required to subscribe to organic material collection services. 

For more information see:

CalRecycle - Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

Organics to Energy

The Monterey Regional Waste Management District’s Organics to Energy program diverts food and other compostable organic “waste” from landfill disposal. The MRWMD program has the added benefit of turning organics into two resources: energy and compost. 
Food scraps and certified compostable food ware are picked up by local haulers, inspected for contamination at MRWMD, mixed with mulch and loaded into an anaerobic digestion unit. Inside, biogas (methane) is released and used as fuel to produce electricity. 

After 21 days, the organic “digestate” is removed and finishes composting for the next 60-90 days in nearby windrows. It is then screened to remove any remaining contaminants and sold to agricultural users such as local vineyards. 

Commercial properties in Pacific Grove have the option to divert food scraps and certified compostable food ware to anaerobic digestion and compost through the City’s contract hauler. Please see for more details and a case study on organics recycling at Asilomar Conference Grounds