Commercial Operations & Sustainability

According to 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization data, the commercial sector generates nearly three-fourths of the solid waste in California. Furthermore, much of the commercial sector waste disposed in landfills is readily recyclable.

A co-benefit of increased recycling is avoided methane emissions at landfills from the decomposition of organic materials. Use of composted organic materials also provides environmental benefits such as carbon storage in soils and reduced use of fertilizers, pesticides, and water.

Commercial Recycling

Mandatory commercial recycling was one of the measures adopted in the Assembly Bill 32 Scoping Plan by the Air Resources Board (ARB) pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act (Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006). This law applies to multi-family and commercial properties (4+ units) and commercial properties generating more than 4 cubic yards of waste weekly.

The Mandatory Commercial Recycling Measure focuses on increased commercial waste diversion as a method to reduce GHG emissions. It is designed to achieve a reduction in GHG emissions of 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents.


Commercial Organics Recycling

The mandatory organics recycling law defines a business as a commercial or public entity (such as a school or hospital) including multifamily residential dwellings (5 units or more), that generates a specified amount of organic waste after April 2016.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Organic waste includes food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
  • Separate organic waste from other waste and participate in a waste recycling service that includes recycling of organic waste.
  • Recycle organic waste on site, or self-haul organic waste off site for recycling.
  • A business that is a property owner may require a lessee or tenant of that property to source separate their organic waste to aid in compliance.
  • All businesses that contract for gardening or landscaping services must stipulate that the contractor recycle the resulting gardening or landscaping waste.
  • California Businesses and Multifamily Complexes Will Soon Be Required to Recycle Their Organic Waste (brochure)
  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service:
    • Waste Management: Email or call 805-955-4346. See flyer for program details.
    • Universal Waste Services: Email or call 800-631-7016 or 626-905-4658. See flyer for program details.