Business Compliance

Commercial

RECYCLING REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES AND PUBLIC ENTITIES 

Orange County businesses and public entities may be subject to one or more statewide recycling requirements based on the types and amounts of waste generated. Check the definitions and requirements below to determine if your business or organization is subject to regulations and how to best meet compliance. 

Who must arrange for recycling services or provide signed recycling collection containers? 

  • Commercial or other businesses generating specified amounts of recyclable or organic waste materials. The threshold for the requirements vary depending on the specific mandate, which can be viewed below. 

  • Multifamily housing units/property management for household dwellings consisting of five or more units and generating specified amounts of recyclable or organic waste materials. For more information, visit here

  • Public entities - State agencies, schools, school districts, universities, colleges, special districts and federal, state, local, regional agencies or facilities generating specific amounts of recyclable or organic waste materials. 

  • Food establishments that are subject to the Mandatory Commercial Recycling requirements below AND sell food products consumed immediately on site must provide properly labeled recycling and organic waste collection bins easily available to patrons, as noted in the AB 827 requirements below. 

What is organic waste? 

Organic Food

 

Any material that once was a living organism or was made from something living (plant or animal). Examples include food, lawn clippings, landscape and pruning trimmings, untreated wood and food-soiled paper. 

Mandatory Commercial Recycling (Non-organics) – AB 341 

AB 341 requires that any business or entity generating four cubic yards of total solid waste per week must: 

  • Separate non-organic recyclables (bottles, cans, etc.) from solid waste; 

  • Subscribe to a recycling service from your local waste hauler, or 

  • Self haul your recyclables to a recycle center or materials exchange facility for sorting and recycling AND 

  • If your business or organization is located in an unincorporated area of OC, you must notify the County of your alternate method of recycling. You may contact the County at (714)834-4000 and speak with the commercial compliance manager.

 

Recycle Page

**Businesses or organizations wishing to report alternate recycling options and that are located in cities not considered unincorporated areas should contact their city recycling contact

 

Mandatory Commercial Organic Recycling – AB 1826 

AB 1826 requires that any business or public entity generating two cubic yards of total solid waste per week, including organic waste, must: 

  • Separate organic waste from other waste AND 

  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service with your local waste hauler, OR 

  • Subscribe to an organic waste recycling service that includes mixed-waste processing that specifically recycles organic waste AND report the alternate service to the County (if your business or organization is in unincorporated OC). You may contact the County at (714)834-4000 and speak with the commercial compliance manager, OR 

  • Recycle organic waste on-site or self-haul organic waste to an organic recycling facility AND notify the County (if in unincorporated OC) of your alternate method of organic waste recycling.  

  • Restaurants and other food product businesses can sell or donate excess edible food as alternate recycling but must be reported to the County (if in unincorporated OC). For additional information on edible food recovery in OC, check here

*Two cubic yards of solid waste is equivalent to approximately 2 average sized washing machines. 

8 55-gallon equals 2 cubic yard dumpster

**Businesses or organizations wishing to report alternate recycling options and that are located in non-unincorporated areas of the County should contact their city recycling contact

 

AB 827 Requirements for Food Consumed Immediately On Site: 

If your business is subject to Mandatory Commercial Organic Recycling as stated for AB 1826 above, AND you also sell food products consumed immediately on site, you must also: 

  • Provide recycling and organic waste bins which are easily visible, clearly labeled and easily accessible to customers. CalRecycle provides signage examples here including multiple languages. 

Different bins for recycle page

 

  • Bins must be placed adjacent to each trash can (restroom waste bins are excluded). Businesses are responsible for providing their own bins. 

  • This requirement does not apply to restaurant/food establishments with back-of-the-house food disposal and collection as patrons do not dispose of waste themselves. 

*Due to COVID-19 – If businesses are not allowed to have customers consume products on site due to the pandemic, then the businesses do not need to have the appropriate bins and signage for customers. When customers are allowed to consume products on site again, businesses  are required to have the proper bins and signage. 

For More Information: 

CalRecycle provides detailed regulation information at the following links: 

Mandatory Commercial Recycling of Non-organics (AB 341) Frequently Asked Questions 

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (AB 1826) Frequently Asked Questions 

Education and Outreach Toolkit and Bin Signage