New Organic Recycling Requirements for Restaurants

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September 28, 2020

Starting July 1, 2020, fast food and casual dining restaurants are required to provide customers with solid waste recycling/organics collection bins in the “front of house” to dispose of recyclables and leftover food consumed on the premises. The newly implemented bill is intended to educate and involve consumers in achieving California’s recycling goals. This new State Assembly Bill 827 applies to restaurants that generate 4 cubic yards or more of solid waste per week or generate 8 cubic yards or more of organic waste per week. These businesses are also subject to Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (AB 1826) regulations.

The bins must be easily accessible and visible to customers. There is no minimum requirement of how many recycling bins a restaurant must have, but they should be consistent with the number of waste bins provided. They should be placed adjacent to each waste bin and marked properly with signage to indicate which materials are appropriate for what container. 

While full-service restaurants are exempt from AB 827, they still must comply with AB 1826 regulations and have recycling bins in the “back of house”. Full-service restaurants are defined as those that have the primary purpose of serving food and beverages that are consumed on the premises. Moreover, the following must apply:

  • Consumer is escorted/assigned to a designated area  

  • Consumer’s food/beverage order is taken after they have been seated 

  • The food/beverage orders are delivered directly to the consumer 

  • The check is delivered directly to the consumer

The City of Whittier’s franchised waste haulers, Athens Services and Republic Services, offer free onsite waste assessments that can help determine if your business is subject to AB 827. Contact your waste haulers for further information and solutions to meet requirements. For more information regarding AB 827 regulations, please visit CalRecycle’s website at

Antonio Navarro, Recycling Coordinator, (562) 567-9500