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Commercial Organics

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Commercial Businesses in California Are Required to Divert Organic Waste Diversion and Donate Edible Food Under AB 1826 and SB 1383.

AB 1826—Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

AB 1826 was passed in 2014 and required certain California businesses (including public entities) to divert organic wastes such as food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning wastes, non-hazardous wood waste, and food soiled paper waste from California landfills.  The law took effect in 2016 for businesses that generated 8 or more cubic yards/week of organics.  Over time, the requirement was expanded to additional businesses generating smaller amounts of waste.    

As of January 1, 2021, ALL commercial businesses and multifamily complexes of 5 or more units that generate two (2) or more cubic yards per week of ANY kind of waste  (trash, recycling, and organics combined) are required to arrange for organic waste collection services.

Businesses must take at least one or more of the following actions*:

  1. Source separate organic materials from solid waste and subscribe to a basic level of organic waste recycling service that includes collection and recycling/composting of organic waste.
  2. Recycle its organic wastes onsite, or self-haul its own organic waste for recycling/composting.
  3. Make other arrangements for recycling  of organic wastes—e.g. through a landscaper. Documentation is required. Call (760) 955-8615 for more details.

SB 1383 - Short-lived Climate Pollutants Reduction Act

California state law Senate Bill (SB) 1383  affects all businesses and residents in California. It was enacted in 2016 in order to reduce short-lived climate pollutants including methane. SB 1383 requires the state to dramatically expand its composting abilities and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. SB 1383 established the goal of reducing organic waste disposal in landfills by 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025 compared to 2014 levels. 

The law also set a goal to recover 20% of disposed edible food for human consumption by 2025.  Organics comprise more than 30% of the waste stream in CA, comprising the largest portion of the disposed materials in California landfills.  Recycling organics is integral to meeting the State’s overall 75% recycling goal by 2025.

SB 1383 requires all CA businesses (including non-profits and government agencies)--regardless of the amount of waste generated--to implement organic recycling programs.  Waivers are available for locations generating small amounts of organics.   


SB 1383 requires commercial edible food generators to recover the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed. 

Generators shall comply with the requirement to recover food via a contract or written agreement with any or all of the following:

  • Food recovery organizations or services that will collect their edible food for food recovery.
  • Food recovery organizations that will accept the edible food that the generator self-hauls to the food recovery organization.

Edible food generators shall not intentionally spoil edible food that is able to be recovered.

Commercial edible food generators shall keep records of their food recovery program, including a copy of the written agreement/contract for food recovery, the name of organization(s)  recovering food, the quantity of food recovered(pounds/mo), the type of food recovered, and the frequency of collection.   

“Tier one” businesses must implement programs by January 1, 2022, and “Tier two” businesses must implement programs by January 1, 2024.


“Tier one” businesses include supermarkets, grocery stores (with a total facility size > 10,000 sq. ft.), food service providers, food distributors, and wholesale food vendors.

“Tier two” businesses include restaurants with 250 or more seats or 5,000+ square feet, hotels with 200 or more rooms and on-site food facilities, health facilities with on-site food facility and 100 or more beds, large venues (including fairgrounds), and large events.              


High Desert Second Chance is a 501(c)3 non-profit group and the lead agency for the High Desert Food Collaborative, a consortium of over 90 organizations that are active in providing food to the food insecure population of the Victor Valley and Barstow regions.  To arrange for FREE collection of your organization’s surplus, edible food, contact High Desert Second Chance at (442) 267-4444. Click here for a flier with more food donation information.

City of Victorville Environmental Programs Division staff is also available to assist businesses with setting up food donation programs.  Please call the City at (760) 955-8615 for more details.

*  Note:  This is not a complete list of requirements.

Updated 01/20/2023



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