Commercial Organics Recycling

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Organics Recycling for Commercial & Multi-Family Properties

Since January 1, 2022, Calfiornia's Short Lived Climate Pollutant Legislation (Senate Bill 1383) has required all businesses and all multi-family properties with five (5) or more units to arrange for organic waste recycling services. Organic waste includes food waste, food-soiled paper waste, landscaping waste (grass clippings, tree trimmings, etc.), lumber, wood, and manure.

Senate Bill 1383 builds upon California’s Mandatory Organic Waste Recycling Legislation (Assembly Bill 1826) and Assembly Bill 341 by expanding the requirement for organic waste recycling to all businesses and residences.

January 1, 2022: All organic waste generators, including commercial, residential, multi-family properties, public schools and school districts, State Agencies, Special Districts, and Federal Facilities.

The purpose of Assembly Bill 1383 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial organic waste from landfills and transforming it into reusable products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is green waste?


Green waste is grass and yard clippings, lumber, wood, and paper products.

What is organic waste?

Food material resulting from the processing, storage, preparation, cooking, handling, or consumption of food. Examples include:

  • Discarded meat scraps, dairy products, egg shells, fruit or vegetable peels and trimmings;
  • Coffee grounds, chips, pasta, rice, pizza, bread and cheeses;
  • Other packaged, unused, expired, or otherwise unwanted food items; and
  • Unlined food-soiled paper products such as used napkins, paper towels, paper plates, and paper cups.

Who must comply?

A business is a commercial or public entity (e.g., school or hospital), including a multi-family residential dwelling (5 units or more), that generates a specified organic waste. This includes but is not limited to firms, partnerships, proprietorships, joint stock companies, corporations, or associations organized as for-profit or nonprofit entities, or multi-family residential complexes. For businesses co-located within a shopping center or a single building, the property owner or management company may require tenants or lessees to separate their organic waste to ensure compliance with this law.

What are the requirements to participate in the City’s organics recycling program?

  • Contact the City of Santa Maria Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 to request participation in the organics recycling program.
  • Utilize one or more City-provided organics recycling containers for the collection of organic recyclables.
  • Post and maintain City-provided organic waste signs in areas where recyclables are collected.
  • Transfer collected materials to an exterior bin (provided by the City) for pick-up at least two times per week.
  • Educate employees and/or tenants about the program.

What is the cost to participate in organics recycling?

At this time, there is no cost to participate. This may change in the future, however, the City’s goal is to help others comply with State law and divert organic waste away from the Landfill.

Are there other options for a business or multi-family property to recycle organics?

One way is to donate excess food. Fruits and vegetables, non-perishable, unspoiled food can be donated to local food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters. Some may be eligible for a tax credit for donating fruits and vegetables to food banks. Consult a tax professional for assistance.

Another way is to recycle organic waste onsite. Examples of recycling methods include composting, transforming into animal feed, or using it as feedstock for anaerobic digesters or incinerators that transform into fuel or electricity. Visit the CalRecycle website (link below) for more information.

Learn more about Mandatory Organic Recycling in California

Resource: CalRecycle Commercial Organics Program




 Commercial Organics Flyer


Commercial Organics Recycling Survey (English)

Encuesta de reciclaje comercial de organicos