Complying with California Mandatory Commercial Recycling & Composting Laws: AB341 & AB1826

According to the State of Recycling in California Report written by CalRecycle in March 2015, businesses generate nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California. Much of this is readily recyclable, as the majority of California’s waste stream is made up of food, organics, paper, and plastic. California is one of the first states in the nation to enact a statewide program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills. AB 341 also establishes a state-wide goal to divert 75% of solid waste away from landfills by the year 2020. By recycling you effectively reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Mandatory Commercial Recycling (MCR)

AB 341 was adopted into California Law in 2012 to enhance systems that capture recyclable materials from the commercial sector. It requires businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, including schools, to arrange for recycling services or self- haul to a recycling center. It also requires that multifamily complexes with five units or more arrange for recycling services or self- haul to a recycling center. The full text of AB 341 and FAQs can be found here.

Mandatory Commercial Organics (MORe)

AB 1826, the Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Bill, became effective January 1, 2016. Over time, it requires more and more businesses to subscribe to commercial organics collection programs; see the implementation timeline below. Every hauler in Marin offers commercial organics programs. More information about the law including FAQs can be found here.

Implementation Dates & Thresholds:

  • April 1, 2016 – eight cubic yards of organic waste/week
  • January 1, 2017 – four cubic yards of organic waste/week
  • January 1, 2019 – four cubic yards of solid waste/week


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