California Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Businesses to Offer Recycling and Composting to their Customers

SACRAMENTO—On Thursday the California State Legislature passed a bill requiring businesses to make composting and recycling bins accessible to customers at restaurants, malls, and other businesses. Earlier this week, AB 827 received bi-partisan support in a vote of 30-9 on the Senate Floor prior to returning to the Assembly for “concurrence”.

Assembly Bill 827 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) will mandate that businesses that are  already required to subscribe to recycling services under AB 341 (Chesbro, 2011) or composting services under AB 1826 (Chesbro, 2014) offer that access to recycling and composting bins to their customers by July 2020. Under this law, the recycling and composting bins provided to the public will be clearly marked with educational signage indicating what is accepted in the local solid waste programs.

“California continues to lead the nation in increasing access to recycling and composting,” said Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy for Californians Against Waste, the bill’s sponsor. “Giving people an opportunity to recycle and compost where they live, work, and recreate will not only increase the amount diverted from landfills but will also reduce contamination across the recycling system by establishing consistent sorting habits.”

Convenience and consistency in our disposal habits are critical when establishing and expanding recycling laws across the state. AB 827 will help California meet its short-term climate pollutant reduction goals set forth by SB 1383 (Lara, 2016).

 “Today’s passing of AB 827 in the Senate will help California to reach its ambitious climate change goal of requiring 75 percent of organic waste be diverted from landfills by 2025,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Waste Reduction and Recycling in the 21st Century. “AB 827 – our Green Restaurants bill – will require the food service industry to provide bins for customers to properly sort our waste and work towards this crucial objective. This not only helps restaurants do their part, but it also teaches Californians to develop the habits necessary so we can collectively meet this challenge.”