Organics Recycling

Mandatory Commercial Organics

Attention businesses and multi-family residences with 5 or more units

California's Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Law, AB 1826, requires certain businesses to arrange for organic waste recycling services.


California State law requires the following businesses to have an organics recycling program in place:

  • Commercial businesses and multifamily dwellings of 5 or more units that generate two cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste (garbage + recycling + organics) per week are required to recycle all of their organic waste.


Organic waste as defined in the law includes the following material: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and certain food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.

Multi-family communities that consist of 5 or more units are only required to recycle their green (yard) waste, and are not required to separate for recycling food waste, including food-soiled 

Businesses and multifamily properties that meet the thresholds above are required to do one of the following:

  • Arrange for organics recycling services through Bertolotti Disposal by calling (209) 537-1500.
  • Reduce amount of all waste (including organics and recyclable materials) generated to under 2 cubic yards or less per week (businesses only)
  • Request an annual exemption for one of the qualifying reasons below by calling the Public Works Department at (209) 538-5602.
    1. Lack of sufficient space to provide additional bins, 
    2. Current business practices already result in a significant reduction in its organic waste, 
    3. The business does not generate at least one-half cubic yard of organic waste per week, 
    4. Limited term exemptions, 
    5. Unforeseen events. 

Exemptions will only be granted to those with qualifying proof of a reason listed above. Site visits may be needed for exemption approval. Exemptions will need to be renewed on an annual basis. Failure to renew exemptions may result in non-compliance to the MOR program.

For More Information

Websites offering more information on recycling and organics information


Effective July 1, 2020, MCR and MOR covered businesses must provide organics and recycling containers for customers to collect waste generated from products purchased and consumed on the premises (AB 827, McCarty). These containers must be placed adjacent to trash containers and be visible, easily accessible, and clearly marked.

AB 827 requirements were added to existing AB 341 and AB 1826 requirements. The new law, passed in 2019, builds off existing requirements under these two laws.

AB 827 targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption on the premises.

Full-service restaurants do not have to provide properly labeled containers for patrons, but must provide proper labels next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.