Commercial Mandatory Recycling /Composting Laws

The Sausalito ordinance is part of a county-wide effort and our Sustainability Commission wouldlike to collaborate with you in preparation for the Marin County foodware ordinance, which will soonprohibit single-use plastics at food establishments. Both the Sausalito ordinance and the proposedMarin County ordinance state that all food businesses are required to make the move awayfrom disposable single-use plastic to non-plastic alternatives like those made of fiber.Specifically, businesses will be required to switch from plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery,and plastic clamshells. Non-plastic alternative items should only be provided upon request. Read More

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

Why Divert Organics from Trash?

Diverting organic material is arguably more important than diverting recyclable material because when organic materials enter the landfill, it breaks down and releases a gas known as methane.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change in the same way that CO2 does, but has a warming effect 34 times stronger than CO2. Composting one ton of organic waste has the same emission reductions as taking a car off the road for two months.

In addition to diverting waste from landfills and reducing harmful emissions, finished compost has many environmental benefits as a soil additive, including reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, improving soil water retention, and assisting in erosion control.

EARTH DAY is approaching and now is the time to think of how you can make a difference going forward:
•Reduce the amount of material you put in the Landfill.
•Separate your Compostables from your Landfil.
•Reuse composted material in your garden.

•Bring your own bags and buckets and scoop what you need from the wooden compost bin at MLK Park parking lot (by the tennis courts) off Coloma Street.
•Open daily, FREE!

Factoids, Tips & Tricks

Did you know that food scraps and other organic materials in the landfill contribute to the single largest direct human source of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas? Help make a positive environmental impact by properly diverting food scraps and other organic materials into your GREEN bin to be composted.

•25-30% of items in our local garbage are food and other organic materials. Diverting these materials to your green compost bin saves room in your garbage and the landfill.
•Food scraps, food-soiled paper products, such as paper plates & cups, paper towels, pizza boxes and yard trimmings all belong in the green bin.
•Bones, fish, shellfish and their shells? Skip the garbage and make sure all these items go into your green compost bin.
•Food soiled cardboard and paper takeout containers can all go into the green compost bin.
•Did you know that natural (plastic-free) wine corks can go into the green bin?
•Coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags are all green compost bin approved.
•Uncoated wooden items like chopsticks, coffee stirrers, toothpicks and popsicle sticks can be thrown into the green bin.