Capturing the Rhythm of
Downtown Santa Monica
Santa Monica Centric
Composting now a requirement for Downtown Santa Monica businesses
By Kevin Herrera

If you run a restaurant or other commercial business and you generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week, you are now required to sign up for an organics collection service thanks to a state law aimed at reducing the 30 million tons of waste that end up in California's landfills each year.


Assembly Bill 1826, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2014, considers organic waste to be food, including food waste like bones, egg shells or orange peels; food-soiled paper, including tea bags; and yard trimmings.


The good news is that businesses can contract with the City's Resource Recovery and Recycling Division for free to help them comply with the law. City workers will help businesses set up their program and collect the organics before transferring it to a commercial composting facility. The compost is then sold to people with backyard gardens, as well as farmers looking for a more environmentally friendly alternative to fertilizers featuring chemicals to promote higher yields of food.


In 2014 organics represented roughly 30 percent of all materials making their way into California landfills. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic wastes in land-fills have been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change. Reducing the amount of organic materials sent to landfills and increasing the production of compost and mulch are part of California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 Scoping Plan.


To learn more about the benefits of composting, click here. To start composting at home, click here.


If the state determines that the disposal of organic waste in 2020 has not been reduced by 50 percent of the level recorded in 2014, the organic recycling requirements will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of solid waste per week.


For more information or to request free support, visit or call 310-458-2223.

In 2014 organics represented roughly 30 percent of all materials making their way into California landfills.

Kevin Herrera is a former journalist turned marketing and communication expert, beer enthusiast, cyclist, cultural observer/commentator and expert on all things Downtown Santa Monica. He is currently the sr. marketing & communication manager for Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.