Recycling and Organics Regulations

Assembly and State Bills

All businesses, commercial properties (including multi-family properties with 5 or more units) and residential homes in the City of Modesto are required to properly recycle and separate their organic waste. To avoid fines, separate your waste correctly by placing your clean recycling materials such as plastic, metal, glass, etc. in the blue container and food scraps, food-soiled paper, cardboard, paper, and green waste in the green container.  

AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling (Plastics, Metal, Glass, etc.) Summary

State law enacted by California Assembly Bill (AB) 341 requires all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week and multi-family residential dwellings with five or more units to recycle. Businesses include, but are not limited to, restaurants, office buildings, retail, nonprofits, and malls. Multi-family dwellings include apartment buildings and attached single-family dwellings such as townhouses, condominiums, and mobile home parks, in which the units do not receive separate or individual solid waste collection service.

AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (Food Scraps & Yard Trimmings) Summary

State law enacted by California Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 requires all businesses and multi-family residential dwellings with five or more units that generate two or more cubic yards of garbage per week to recycle their organic waste.

Organic waste, for the purposes of AB 1826, means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.

SB 1383: Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP): Organic Waste Reduction Summary

State law enacted by Senate Bill (SB) 1383  requires a reduction in organic waste disposal and increased recovery of surplus food. Starting in 2022, all California jurisdictions must provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses. As California collects and recycles organic materials, local governments are required to use the products made from this recycled organic material, such as renewable energy, compost, and mulch. Starting in 2022, some food service businesses must donate edible food to food recovery organizations, with others starting in 2024. This will help feed the nearly 1 in 4 Californians without enough to eat. California has a 2025 goal to redirect 20% of edible food currently thrown away to those most in need.

State law now requires separate organics services for businesses who exceed established weekly thresholds, specifically:

  • 20 gallons or more of organics in 2 cubic yards and up of solid waste per week 
  • 10 gallons or more of organics in less than 2 cubic yards of solid waste per week 

Legislative Bill Information for SB 1383

Waivers and Alternative Approaches

Businesses that do not produce enough organic waste or have enough space to store an organics bin will have the option to work with the City of Modesto on obtaining waivers. Please visit the Compliance Form to obtain information about waivers and alternative compliance options.