Commercial Recycling is Easy, Essential
Mandatory Commercial Recycling (MCR) Law (AB 341)
The State of California has implemented a program to significantly reduce the amount of waste going into landfills before the year 2020. Assembly Bill 341 (AB 341) sets an ambitious 75% reduction target for disposables, which can only be obtained with consistent compliance at industrial, commercial and multi-family facilities. This AB 341 brochure summarizes the expectations.
Luckily, it is very easy to follow best practices to help achieve this goal. For many years, single-family homes have used three different colored bins to separate waste streams. But, such a multi-bin, three-truck system is not as practical for commercial applications. However, because Brea Disposal operates as part of Republic Services, with state-of-the-art processing for recyclable material, larger waste generators also have it easy to participate.
Proper handling for those larger roll-off type bins requires two simple rules:
1. Keep dry recycle materials loose. (paper, cardboard, plastics, glass)
2. Bag all wet materials.
Republic Service/Brea Disposal can provide a waste audit and customized recycling solutions for businesses that generate a lot of fiber. Businesses may call 714-238-3300 to request a solid waste audit. (There may be a minimal fee, depending on the type of audit.)
Republic is interested in working with you to develop best environmental practices for managing waste and keeping recycle materials clean while protecting the environment. You can call them with questions at 714-238-2444 or visit their website. To learn more about waste and recycling and the current legislation visit the State’s website.
Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Program (MORe- AB 1826)
California Assembly Bill AB 1826 (signed into law on September 28, 2014) stipulates that local governments must facilitate compliance with this law by establishing and implementing additional recycling programs. The purpose of this regulation is to separate commercial organic waste from the waste stream and divert it from landfills. AB 1826 specifies that on or after January 1, 2016, local agencies shall implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste from qualifying businesses. Complete information about MORe can be found at the CalRecycle website
- The City of Brea adopted an Commercial Organics Recycling program on February 2, 2016, as mandated by the state.
- The City conducted outreach to the Commercial Business sector in Brea. The effort included surveying businesses, informational workshop, Brea Chamber of Commerce and City Council presentations.
- In addition, City staff regularly provided status updates to CalRecycle, the state regulatory body providing oversight for municipal waste management activities.
- On February 5, 2019, the Brea City Council set a public hearing for April 16, 2019 to consider proposed sector-wide rates for the Commercial Organic Recycling program. View the Public Hearing Notice, the existing rates and the proposed rates.
- Republic is the exclusive hauler for organic waste and would facilitate the conversion of food waste to renewable energy.
AB 1826 requires businesses meeting the following criteria to arrange for recycling services specifically for organic waste:
- Tier 1: On or after April 1, 2016, a business that generates 8 cubic yards or more of organic waste per week (approximately 35 businesses)
- Tier 2: On or after January 1, 2017, a business that generates 4 cubic yards or more of organic waste per week (approximately 76 additional businesses)
- Tier 3: On or after January 1, 2019, a business that generates 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week (additional number of businesses TBD)
- On or after January 1, 2020, dependent on compliance results (50% reduction as compared to 2014), may expand to businesses that generate 2 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week
AB 1826 supports SB 1383 (signed into law on September 19, 2016). SB1383 specifies:
- Overall goal to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions below 2013 levels by 2030
- Statewide organics disposal reduction of 50% of the 2014 level by 2020
- Statewide organic disposal reduction of 75% of the 2014 levels by 2025
- Recovery of 20% of edible food that is disposed for human consumption by 2025
Assembly Bill AB 827 – this Bill amended AB 341 and AB 1826
AB 827 is intended to educate and involve consumers in achieving the state’s recycling goals by requiring businesses subject to MCR and/or MORe to make recycling and/or organic recycling bins available to customers. This law targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption. AB 827 states that businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste must provide their customers with recycling containers that are visible, accessible, and adjacent to each trash container. Details on full-service restaurants versus other types of food establishments are included since full-service restaurants do not have to provide properly labeled containers for patrons, but must provide properly labeled next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.