Mandatory Organics Recycling

California Recycling Laws Have Changed!

Effective January 1, 2022, all businesses, multi-family complexes of 5 units or more, and single-family home residents are required to subscribe to an organics collection service and must separate landscaping waste, food scraps, and 100% fiber based, food-soiled paper into their green organics container.

For more information on available organics recycling programs visit the Athens or Ware Disposal websites. 

Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP): Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions 

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016), establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of California’s economy. Senate Bill 1383 requires mandatory organics recycling services for all single-family home residents, businesses, schools, and multi-family complexes. This builds upon existing Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling law (MORe), AB 1826, which required organic waste recycling for businesses. The new law codifies the California Air Resources Board’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy, established pursuant to SB 605 (Lara, Chapter 523, Statutes of 2014), to achieve reductions in the statewide emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. Actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants are essential to address the many impacts of climate change on human health, especially in California’s most at-risk communities, and on the environment.

As it pertains to CalRecycle, SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. The law grants CalRecycle the regulatory authority required to achieve the organic waste disposal reduction targets and establishes an additional target that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025. 

For more information on the state's recycling laws, visit the CalRecyle website. 

What Does This Mean for You?

  1. Residents
  2. Businesses

All single-family home residents are now required to place all landscaping waste, food scraps, and 100% fiber based, food-soiled paper into their green waste container. 

There is no need to enroll or subscribe to any additional service, just simply begin collecting food scraps and food soiled paper and disposing into your green waste container. You can also divert your organic waste by converting your food scraps and yard waste into compost. Residents in apartments and housing complexes should check with property management for more information on their building’s organics waste disposal.

Organics Waste_acceptable

Download the residential food scrap collection flyer in English, Chinese or Spanish (PDF).


The City may waive a commercial business's obligation (including multifamily residential dwellings) to comply with some or all of the organic waste requirements under the following conditions: 

De minimis waivers (MPMC 6.15.050) - If the commercial business provides documentation that the business generates below a certain amount of organic waste material as described below.

  • The commercial business’s total solid waste collection service is two cubic yards or more per week and organic waste subject to collection in a blue container or green container comprises less than twenty gallons per week per applicable container of the business’ total waste; or
  • The commercial business’ total solid waste collection service is less than two cubic yards per week and organic waste subject to collection in a blue container or green container comprises less than ten gallons per week per applicable container of the business’s total waste.

Physical Space waivers (MPMC 6.15.060) -  if the commercial business or property owner provides documentation, or the city obtains evidence, from a hauler, California licensed architect, or California licensed engineer demonstrating that the premises lacks adequate space for the collection containers required for compliance with this chapter.

A commercial business or property owner can request a waiver by completing an application and submitting the required documentation. If granted, the City may conduct an inspection to verify continued eligibility for a waiver.

Application for Waster Generator Waiver (PDF)


If you intend to self-haul your organic waste rather than subscribe to the service offered by your refuse service provider, you must register with the city by completing and submitting this form.

The requirements for self-haulers of commercial organic waste, as defined in the SB 1383 regulations and the city’s municipal code are:

  1. Organic waste must be separated from other waste and recyclables.
  2. The organic waste must be hauled to a facility that is equipped and permitted to accept and process source-separated organic waste.
  3. The self-hauler must keep records of the amount of organic waste hauled to each facility, and these records must be made available for inspection by the city or its designated representative. The records must include delivery receipts and/or weight tickets that indicate the amount of organic waste delivered to the facility.

Food Recovery Program

The City of Monterey is part of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) Regional Food Recovery Program. Known as one of the largest regional food recovery programs in California, this program includes assessing commercial edible food waste generators, identifying and fostering partnerships with local food recovery organizations, implementing outreach and education endeavors, and developing and implementing inspection protocols. To learn more about how to donate food, receive food donations, or other questions about the program, please reach out to Mackenzie Bolger,    

Food Donation Resources: