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Posted on: January 1, 2019

Organic Waste Recycling Updates for 2019

Beginning January 1, 2019 all businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week, including commercial or public entities like schools, hospitals, stores, restaurants, industrial businesses, for –profit or nonprofit organizations, residential dwellings with 5+ units*, and others must recycle their organic waste based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019.

*note: Multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program, just landscape and pruning waste.

Businesses can meet the mandatory organics recycling requirements through any of the following:

  • Source separate organic waste from other waste and participate in a waste recycling service that includes collection and recycling of organic waste.
  • Recycle its organic waste on site, or self-haul its organic waste off site for recycling.
  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste.

Organics recycling requirements depend on the amount of a specific type of waste generated by the business each week (see chart below). The minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, so a larger proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply in the new organics recycling requirements in the coming years.

DateThreshold to arrange for organic waste recycling services

January 1, 2019

Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week

Summer/Fall 2021

Businesses that generate 2 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week


The mandatory commercial organics recycling law (AB 1826) was signed in 2014 to help achieve California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals. California landfills accumulate about 30 million tons of waste each year, of which more than 30% is organic, that could be composted or used to produce renewable energy. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills have been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change.

Please be a part of the solution and comply. It is the law! For more information please contact the City of Modesto’s Solid Waste Division at 209-577-5495. If your business meets the 2019 threshold, look for a compliance form to be mailed to your business in January 2019.

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