Composting & Recycling Laws

There are four important laws related to recycling and waste management in California that you should know about. These laws are aimed at helping the state reach its diversion goals and to keep resources out of the landfill.

For residents, the Short-lived Climate Pollutants Law (SB 1383) is really the only one you should be aware of, the rest pertain to businesses or multifamily dwellings.

MANDATORY COMMERCIAL RECYCLING : AB 341

In 2012, California adopted AB 341 the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Measure to enhance systems that capture recyclable materials from the commercial sector. The purpose of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills and expand opportunities for recycling in California.

MANDATORY COMMERCIAL ORGANICS RECYCLING : AB 1826

Removing organic material (compostables) from the landfill is not only a top priority for Marin Sanitary Service, it is an essential step toward achieving California’s recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals. Not only does proper disposal of organic materials produce a soil amendment for California farmers, it also has an impact on reducing greenhouse gases. When organic material like food waste is landfilled, it breaks down anaerobically, creating methane and other greenhouse gases that leak from landfills and contribute to climate change.

SHORT-LIVED CLIMATE POLLUTANTS: SB 1383

When organic material is sent to landfill, it breaks down without access to oxygen and creates methane gas. Landfills are the third largest source in the U.S. of human-caused methane – a potent heat-trapping gas that contributes to climate change. Senate Bill 1383 sets statewide targets to reduce disposal of compostable waste in our landfills. It also includes goals for the recovery of edible food.

COMMERCIAL ORGANICS AND RECYCLING BINS : AB 827

The state of California has passed several laws related to the disposal of commercial waste in our state. This is because our recyclables are made of valuable natural resources, and by recycling we can conserve those resources and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, organic material that is sent to the landfill generates large amounts of the heat-trapping gas methane. Separating our waste helps preserve our natural environment and prevent climate change. 

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