Requirements for CalRecycle

CalRecycle will annually assess each jurisdiction’s organics recycling program. CalRecycle will also formally review a jurisdiction’s compliance as part of the Jurisdiction Review scheduled every two years and four years. Additionally, CalRecycle may review whether a jurisdiction is in compliance with these requirements at any time that it receives information that a jurisdiction has not implemented, or is not making a “good faith effort” to implement, an organic waste recycling program. In January 2017, a memo from CalRecycle Director, Scott Smithline, was sent to all Jurisdiction and Annual Report Contacts outlining at any time Jurisdiction Reviews of Mandatory Commercial Recycling and Commercial Organics Recycling Programs. For this purpose, “good faith effort” means all reasonable and feasible efforts by a jurisdiction to implement its organic waste recycling program.

During its review, CalRecycle will consider various factors in its evaluation of a jurisdiction’s “good faith effort”, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. The extent to which businesses have complied, including information on the amount of disposal that is being diverted from the businesses, if available, and on the number of businesses that are in compliance.
  2. The recovery rate of the organic waste from the material recovery facilities that are utilized by the businesses, all information, methods, and calculations, and any additional performance data, as requested by CalRecycle.
  3. The extent to which the jurisdiction is conducting education and outreach to businesses.
  4. The extent to which the jurisdiction is monitoring businesses and notifying those businesses that are not in compliance.
  5. The appropriateness of exemptions allowed by the jurisdiction.
  6. The availability of markets for collected organic materials.
  7. Budgetary constraints.
  8. In the case of a rural jurisdiction, the effects of small geographic size, low population density, or distance to markets.
  9. The availability, or lack thereof, of sufficient organic waste processing infrastructure, organic waste recycling facilities, and other nondisposal opportunities and markets.
  10. The extent to which the jurisdiction has taken steps that are under its control to remove barriers to siting and expanding organic waste recycling facilities.

CalRecycle will monitor county population data with respect to rural exemptions. If a rural exemption has been granted and the population of the respective county rises above 70,000, CalRecycle will need to rescind the rural reduction.

Additionally, pursuant to AB 1826, at its September 2020 public meeting, CalRecycle announced that it assessed and determined that statewide disposal of organic waste has not been reduced to 50 percent of the 2014 disposal level. As a result, CalRecycle reduced the threshold so that a business that generates two cubic yards or more per week of commercial solid waste shall arrange for the organic waste recycling services. Furthermore, jurisdictions are no longer able to grant an exemption for a business whose generation is less than one cubic yard of organic waste per week. CalRecycle also extended the current AB 1826 rural exemption until December 31, 2026

Related Resources

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Home

For more information contact: Commercial Recycling,