Commercial Generator Compliance FAQ

1. Is mandatory organics service being enforced?  YES, state law AB 1826 I began in 2016.  The implementation schedule is listed in question 3.


2. Are there a facilities / hauler(s) in the area to accept and haul organics?  Yes, haulers listed below and on the webpage:

      1. Atlas Disposal 
      2. Imperial Western Products
      3. ReConserve of California
      4. Republic Services
      5. Waste Management

3. Is there an exclusive franchise hauler for trash and recycling services for the City of Sacramento and County of Sacramento? 

NO, 18 non-exclusive franchise haulers are listed here:  All haulers provide different services and some only collect recyclables:


4. Are organic recycling services franchised to one specific hauler for this city/county?  NO, see questions 3.


5. Is there a listing of permitted haulers a client needs to utilize for organic recycling services?  NO, see questions 3.


6. Who determines if a generator (business and multi-family complex) is an organic recycling candidate or not?  Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) enforces the mandatory recycling and organics ordinance.  EMD does the determination and confirms with the garbage hauler.  Businesses must start recycling organic waste by January 1, 2019.  Weblink is:


7.  How are service levels determined? Client, hauler, city, etc?  All three, but mainly the hauler and EMD staff estimates and evaluates the amount of organic waste generated by each business.  EMD makes the final determination and the hauler suggest what sizes cart or bin you need.


8. Are all cities in Sacramento county requiring compliance?   SWA requires compliance in the City of Sacramento and Unincorporated County only.  Contact other cities regarding their programs.


9. Can a business be exempted if the service is cost prohibitive i.e. more expensive than current disposal cost?   NO.


10. What is the process to file for an exemption if a business does not generate the volume of organic waste per week?  There is no process for a business to file for an exemption; a recycling staff member,   makes the determination. They consult with the trash hauler, conduct a site visit and update the business system database. There is a provision in the AB 1826 law that allows exemptions for businesses that generate less than one-half a cubic yard of organic waste per week.  The exemptions could be granted at any time but would most likely be applicable after 2019, when volume of solid waste generated as opposed to volume of organic waste generated is used to determine which businesses need to recycle organic waste. Source:


11. What is the time period to complete the exemption process (from initial visit completion of written documentation)?  There is no time period to complete the process because there is no exemption request process.  When we inspect a facility, they are given 60 days to comply.  We then make a re-inspection and grant 30 days.  Just send us a signed form asking for an exemption such as space issues. 


12. How long will that exemption be valid if a generator is granted an exemption? EMD will perform follow-up inspections every 3 years.


13. If the client location is exempt in one city/county, will that exemption have any bearing on another city/county for same business model i.e.: Target Stores?  NO, exemptions vary by cities and counties throughout California so contact your local jurisdiction.


14. Can a business be exempted if there is a space constraint issue?  Yes, final determination is decided by a SWA representatives.  There are lots of different waste containers and lots of sizes so the likelihood of an exemption is low.   Very few space exemptions were granted for the Business Recycling Law (AB 341) beginning in 2007. The law does not specifically require businesses to have separate container for organic waste and other recyclable materials. The on-site collection systems used will depend on the services offered in that jurisdiction, the needs of the business, and other considerations to address barriers to implement the program.  The jurisdiction's recycling coordinator and waste hauler may have additional ideas for the business to consider in implementing an organic waste recycling program.  Source:


15. Can you provide a listing of clients / businesses that have received an exemption status already?  This is a difficult question.  The database of 16,000 businesses has 8,100 regulated by AB 1826. .  We have not determined who is exempt, below the regulatory threshold, for Tier 3 that begins January 1, 2019.  Big generators were identified, but small businesses will be assessed by personal visits and working with the garbage hauler.


16. If a city or hauler does not currently have the infrastructure to support / process organics, what is the process to document and ensure the business does not receive a violation?  Will we receive documentation from that specific city / county or hauler stating when the infrastructure will be put in place to begin organic recycling?  As mentioned before, each jurisdiction is implementing the law themselves.  It is the law and your requirement is to get something in place that diverts food waste and organics out of the garbage container.  The SWA Region's franchised haulers have places they take organics for recycling.  Other opportunities for organic waste diversion exists, such as food donation, animal feed options, landscaping service providers for plant and pruning debris.  Every individual location is required to implement an organics recycling program.  Source:


17.  What if you already have a food donations program or food is returned to vendors and fall under the 1/2 yard per week do you still need a compost program? If they have a food donation program, and organic waste generation falls under the one-half cubic yard per week then there is compliance.  There are more than one way to comply. 

18.  When will enforcement (fines) be initiated?  The process is flexible and our goal is compliance.  We want to work with you towards that goal.

19. Is there a consistent violation / fine ($) amount enforced across the cities / counties / state?  No, AB 1826 does not require fines at the state level; it is delegated to cities and counties.  It is completely voluntary if a jurisdiction wants to have a fine component.  Title V of the SWA Code has an Enforcement provision. See the weblinkfor details: .

20. What is the responsibility of the contracted hauler to implement organic recycling (i.e. survey, educate, provide signage, proposed service inclusive of containers / liners etc. and report)?  This is a partnership between the generator and hauler. Haulers provide most of the topics mentioned, but are not responsible for some.  SWA Code IV (4) lists Franchise Hauler Requirements. SWA Code 4