Business and Multifamily Organics

​Frequently Asked Questions 

All businesses and multi-family properties are required to arrange for organic material recycling services. Check your bill to see what size containers are on site, and service frequency each week. Starting January 1, 2022, SB 1383 requires all businesses to subscribe to mandatory organic material recycling services, no matter how much garbage or recycling they generate.​

Organic material is:  Food waste, food soiled paper, and green waste.  

Food waste includes all discarded food, such as peels, nuts, seeds, meat, dairy, bones, an​d shells.  It doesn't matter if the food is rotting, scraps from a plate, or if it's the part of the fo​od we don't eat like fruit peel or bones; that food still goes into the organic material container.  Plastic wrappers that food comes in should not be put in your organic material container. 

Food soiled paper includes grease pizza boxes, paper towels, napkins, paper plates, and coffee filters.  

Green waste includes all plant debris and landscaping trimmings.  Do not put plastic bags, water hoses, metal, hazardous waste, glass, or other material that does not grow from the earth in your organic material container.

An important part of the State's mission is to increase the diversion of organic materials away from landfills, and toward the production of value-added products such as compost, fertilizers, and biofuels. Organic material accounts for more than a third of the material in California's waste stream. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by the breakdown of organic material in landfills contribute to global climate change. Reducing the amount of organic material sent to landfills is part of the AB 32, AB 1826, and SB 1383 regulations to reduce organic material in landfills and mandates all businesses recycle their organic material.

Contact your hauler, or any fra​nchised hauler who offers this service, to add organic material recycling service and begin collecting your organic material (food waste and green waste), or utilize one or more alternative organic material recycling services by completing and submitting the Alternative Service Verification section in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form. Alternative organic material recycling services include:

a) Third-party recycler – Your business contracts with a recycler, who is not a franchised hauler, who collects and recycles your organic material.

b) Self-haul – You take your organic materials to a local organics recycling facility yourself.

c)Back-haul - Your business hauls its organic materials back to a central or corporate location to be collected for recycling.

d) Shared Container- Your organic material is placed in another business' organic container to be recycled under mutual agreeance with both parties, and,

e) On-site Composting – All organic material that is generated on-site is composted on-site.

Check with your hauler for more detailed information on what is accepted in the organic material container.  You will need to notify and train your employees about the new organic material recycling program. Let them know what is accepted and how to properly separate their organic material. Contact your hauler for educational material you can provide to your employees and janitorial staff.

No, the cost of ser​vice does not exempt a business from complying with the mandatory organics recycling laws.​​

A 20-Gallon or Less Waiver may be granted if a business generates less than 20-gallons of organic material per week. The best way to determine this is to separate all of your organic material (food waste, food-soiled paper, green waste/landscaping trimmings and “clean wood" (no paint, no stain, etc.)) into a measurable bucket(s) for one or more representative week(s). If the measured amount is less than 20 gallons, then you can request a 20-Gallon or Less Waiver in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form.

Note: If a portion of your organic material is already being recycled, such as your green waste/landscaping trimmings by your landscaper, do not include that organic material in your weekly measurement. If the organic material measured during the week is still less than 20 gallons, you should request both a 20-Gallon or Less Waiver and submit an Alternative Services Verification in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form, for example, select Third Party Recycler and provide details about your landscaper. 

The following businesses are ineligible for a 20-Gallon or Less Waiver:

1.      All businesses that require a permit from Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) under their Retail Food Protection Program

2.      Businesses that make food

  • Restaurants
  • Food service business (caterer, food pantry/closet, or any business that sells or serves food)
  • Food manufacturer
  • Wholesale food vendor
  • Grocery store
  • Supermarket
  • Market / mini mart serving coffee and/or selling food

3.      Businesses that serve food

  • Gas station serving coffee and/or selling food
  • School
  • Office campus with cafe on-site
  • Hotel / motel providing food service
  • Cinema
  • Theater
  • Child care facility
  • Senior care facility
  • Hospital
  • Event venue
  • Convention center
  • Arena
  • Community center
  • Training facility

4.      Other businesses

  • Plant business (nurseries, landscapers, florists, cannabis)
  • Multifamily property with five or more units (Starting January 1, 2022)

Approved waivers will receive an on-site inspection within five years. Inspections are required by state law SB 1383. Approved waivers may be revoked at any time. Revocation may be due to:

  • An inspection that demonstrates the business site has space for an organics cart, or the business site generates more than 20 gallons of organic material a week.
  • An inspection that demonstrates alternative services requirements are not being met and/or there is no supporting documentation.
  • An inspection that demonstrates the business site misrepresented information in the form.
  • Changes to local or state regulations regarding organics material recycling. Example could include changes to waiver parameters such as space considerations, waste generation thresholds, or changes to local or state regulations that disallow waivers.

Yes, however, please keep in mind that there are many different types and sizes of containers, so the likelihood of a space constraint exemption is very low. Many haulers offer businesses with smaller containers (e.g. 32, 64 or 96 gallon carts, as seen for residential properties) that are approximately 25" wide x 32" deep x 42" high and would fit in your enclosure. Please reach out to your local hauler and/or to discuss right sizing your waste containers and additional ideas for the business to consider before submitting for a Physical Space Waiver in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form

If a Physical Space Waiver is granted, it is granted for a limited period of time until the business can find a solution to the space constraint. Approved Physical Space Waivers will receive an on-site inspection within five years and supporting documentation with photo is required upon submittal of waiver request.

Yes. AB 827 requires all businesses subject to Mandatory Commercial Recycling and Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling to provide customers with recycling and organics (food waste) collection bins adjacent to all trash bins.

The bins are to collect products purchased and consumed by customers on the premises and must be visible, easily accessible, clearly marked with proper signage, and adjacent to each trash bin. CalRecycle has signage for businesses to use on their Education/Outreach Toolkit: Customizable Outreach Materials page. You can also use your own signage.

More information on AB 827 requirements for organic recycling can be found on CalRecycle's FAQ, through questions #39-40 and #62-77.

Yes. Full-service restaurants are exempt and do not have to provide properly labeled bins for customers. However, they must provide properly labeled recycling and organic waste bins next to trash bins for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.

Additionally, if a business sells food, has no trash container for customers to use, and all material is taken and consumed off-site, then organic waste containers accessible to customers are not required.

Furthermore, if businesses are not allowed to have customers consume products onsite due to COVID-19, then the businesses do not currently need to have the appropriate bins and signage for their customers to use. When customers are allowed to consume products onsite again, then businesses will need to have the bins and signage.​

Yes. All businesses and all multifamily properties are required to subscribe to mandatory organic material recycling services. If a business or multifamily property is not subscribed to organic material recycling services, Sacramento County Code Officers will conduct an inspection and issue a Notices of Violation (NOV) to the business or property owner responsible for providing the mandatory services. Fines will only be initiated if the business or multifamily property fails to meet the requirements in the NOV to come into compliance​.

 Yes. Starting January 1, 2022, all multifamily properties are required to subscribe to mandatory organic material recycling services to recycle their food waste and green waste.


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