Business and Multifamily Organics

​Frequently Asked Questions 

Businesses that subscribe to two (2) or more cubic yards of weekly garbage and recycling services, combined, 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 commercialwaste@saccounty.net 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, state law AB 1826 began in 2016.  Currently, every business that subscribes to 2 cubic yards or more of garbage and recycling (combined) per week must have organic material recycling, which includes food waste and green waste. Multifamily properties that subscribe to 4 cubic yards or more of garbage and recycling (combined) per week must have organic material recycling, which includes green waste only. Starting January 1, 2022, under SB 1383, all businesses and all multifamily properties will be required to subscribe to mandatory organic material recycling services, regardless of their garbage or recycling service levels. 

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

Multifamily properties that subscribe to two (2) or more cubic yards of weekly garbage and recycling service, combined, are required to have green waste recycling services.  Check your bill to see what size containers are on site and the service frequency each week.    

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

Contact your hauler, or any franchised hauler who offers this service, to add green waste or organic material recycling service to collect your green waste, or, if you're hauling your green waste through a landscaper or you are self-hauling, fill out the Alternative Services Verification section in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form and submit it for approval. 

​If hauling green waste through a landscaper, please retain the landscapers contract and/or contact information, so a Recycling Inspector can contact them to verify they are recycling the green waste properly. If self-hauling, retain all receipts from the recycling facility and present them to a recycling inspector, when requested.

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