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Businesses must meet state mandates for diverting organic material (food waste and green waste) from landfill disposal in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

What is the law? Starting July 1, 2021, all businesses and commercial properties are required to separate organics material from their garbage for recycling. State law SB1383 applies to al businesses types, not just those that sell food.  

What are Organic Materials? Food waste, food-soiled paper, green waste/landscaping trimmings and “clean wood" (no paint, no stain, etc.). 

Food & Composted Materials


1) Contact your waste haulers and add Organic Services. Organics recycling services are mandatory. If you do not add service your waste hauler will provide advance notice before delivering the required organics recycling bin and start collection services.

2) Alternative Organic Service - Complete and submit the Alternative Service Verification section in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form if your business utilizes one or more alternative organic material recycling services:

1. Third-Party Recycler: The business contracts with a recycler, who is not a franchised hauler, who collects and recycles all generated organic material. This may include landscapers who recycle your green waste/landscape trimmings. All contracts between the business and each alternative service recycler must be retained on-site for verification during inspection.

2. Self-Haul: The business hauls its organic materials collected to a local organic recycling facility. Receipts must be retained on-site for verification during inspection.
3. Backhaul: The business hauls its organic materials back to a central or corporate location to be collected for recycling. Contracts or other proof of evidence must be retained on-site for verification during inspection.
4. Shared Container: The business places its organic materials in another business organic material recycling container to be recycled. Evidence that all parties agree to sharing the container and a copy of the organic recycling collection service contract must be retained on-site for verification during inspection; 

3) Waivers - 

A. 20 Gallons or Less Waiver: If a business generates less than 20 gallons of organic material per week; apply for a 20-Gallon or Less Waiver in the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form. Waivers are granted infrequently and applicants must certify that they generate less than 20-gallons of organics per week and are subject to an on-site inspection. IMPORTANT: To submit waiver, separate your organic material from your garbage into a bucket for at least a week and measure how much material is collected. Your findings will need to be submitted in the waiver request and you will need to produce records of the measurements are part of the on-site inspection.  

The following types of businesses are ineligible to receive a 20-Gallon or Less Waiver. 

Businesses ineligible for the 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, examples include: 



Food manufacturer   

 Food service business (caterer, food pantry/closet, or any business that sells or serves food)

 Wholesale food vendor  

 Grocery store


 Market / mini mart serving coffee and/or selling food


 3. Businesses that serve food, examples include:


 Gas station serving coffee and/or selling food


 Office campus with cafe on-site

 Hotel / motel providing food service  



 Child care facility

 Senior care facility  


 Event venue  

 Convention center


 Community center

 Training facility  

4. Other businesses

Plant business (nurseries, landscapers, florists, cannabis)

Multifamily property with five or more units


B. Physical Space Waiver - If the business does not have adequate space for an organic material container, complete the Physical Space Waiver portion on the Organic Material Recycling Compliance Form. Note: Supporting documents are required as evidence that the business does not have space for a 64-gallon cart, one of the smallest carts available. 64-gallon carts are approximately 25" wide x 32" deep x 42" high. 


In early June, 2021, the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County hosted a Mandatory Food Waste Recycling informational webinar for businesses & commercial properties. To watch the recorded webinar, view or download the presentation, and to view all questions and answers from the webinars, please visit our Organics Recycling Outreach Page.


City of Sacramento Commercial Waste Compliance Email:
Phone: (916)808-4846 . Note: callers must leave a voicemail with business name, caller name, and phone number. The Commercial Waste Compliance voicemail is checked twice daily. Callers will receive a response within three (3) business days.