Commercial Recycling is Easy, Essential
Mandatory Commercial Recycling (MCR) Law (AB 341)
The State of California has implemented a program to significantly reduce the amount of waste going into landfills before the year 2020. Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341) sets an ambitious 75% reduction target for disposables, which can only be obtained with consistent compliance at industrial, commercial and multi-family facilities. This AB 341 brochure summarizes the expectations.
Luckily, it is very easy to follow best practices to help achieve this goal. For many years, single-family homes have used three different colored bins to separate waste streams. But, such a multi-bin, three-truck system is not as practical for commercial applications. However, because Brea Disposal operates as part of Republic Services, with state-of-the-art processing for recyclable material, larger waste generators also have it easy to participate.
Proper handling for those larger roll-off type bins requires two simple rules:
1. Keep dry recycle materials loose. (paper, cardboard, plastics, glass)
2. Bag all wet materials.
Republic Service/Brea Disposal can provide a waste audit and customized recycling solutions for businesses that generate a lot of fiber. Businesses may call 714-238-3300 to request a solid waste audit. (There may be a minimal fee, depending on the type of audit.)
Republic is interested in working with you to develop best environmental practices for managing waste and keeping recycle materials clean while protecting the environment. You can call them with questions at 714-238-2444 or visit their website. To learn more about waste and recycling and the current legislation visit the State’s website.
Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Program (MORe- AB 1826)
California Assembly Bill AB 1826 (signed into law on September 28, 2014) stipulates that local governments must establish and implement the separation of commercial organic waste from the waste stream by diverting it from landfills. AB 1826 currently requires that businesses generating 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week to arrange for recycling services for organic waste.*
*On or after January 1, 2020, depending on compliance results (50% reduction as compared to 2014), applicability to businesses may expand to those that generate 2 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week.
AB 1826 supports SB 1383 (signed into law on September 19, 2016). SB1383 specifies:
- Overall goal to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions below 2013 levels by 2030
- Statewide organics disposal reduction of 50% of the 2014 level by 2020
- Statewide organic disposal reduction of 75% of the 2014 levels by 2025
- Recovery of 20% of edible food that is disposed for human consumption by 2025
Complete information about MORe can be found at the CalRecycle website.
What is Organic Waste:
Organic waste is defined as food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste and food-soiled paper mixed in with food waste. Multifamily complexes (of 5 or more units) must arrange for recycling services for the same material with the exception of food waste and food-soiled paper. Examples of “food waste” includes solid, semisolid, and liquid food, such as, fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, pasta, and oils; coffee grounds and filters and tea bags; cut flowers and herbs; and any putrescible matter produced from human or animal food production, preparation, and consumption activities. Food waste includes food-soiled paper.
What to do if your business/multi-family unit is subject to AB 1826?
For businesses that are subject to AB 1826, there are many ways you can achieve compliance depending on your organics waste stream. A business may:
- Separate your food waste from other waste and subscribe to an organics recycling programs through Republic Services. To subscribe please email email@example.com or call 714-990-7645.
- Participate in edible food recovery by donating to a Food Pantry/Bank. Please fill out the Self-Certification Form and return it via mail or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have landscaper remove landscaping and pruning waste from your property and take it to a permitted composting facility, please fill out the Self-Certification Form and return it via mail or email to email@example.com.
- Self-haul organic waste to a permitted composting facility. Please fill out the Self-Certification Form and return it via mail or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Conduct onsite processing or composting. Please fill out the Self-Certification Form and return it via mail or email to email@example.com.
Remember, your business or multi-family unit is responsible for complying with AB 1826. For more information, please contact the City of Brea at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714-990-7645.
Assembly Bill AB 827 – this Bill amended AB 341 and AB 1826
AB 827 is intended to educate and involve consumers in achieving the state’s recycling goals by requiring businesses subject to MCR and/or MORe to make recycling and/or organic recycling bins available to customers. This law targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption. AB 827 states that businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste must provide their customers with recycling containers that are visible, accessible, and adjacent to each trash container. Details on full-service restaurants versus other types of food establishments are included since full-service restaurants do not have to provide properly labeled containers for patrons, but must provide properly labeled next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.
Businesses subject to MCR/MORe
On September 22, 2020, the City mailed an informational letter to businesses and multi-family complexes subject to MCR and MORe (see above for MCR and MORe information). If you think your business is subject to one or more of these laws and you’d like additional information, you can email email@example.com or call 714-990-7645.