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The State of California Introduces New Regulations on Food Waste Bins

The governor of California, in collaboration with the State’s Recycling Agency is taking the issue of waste disposal in the state’s limited-service restaurants very seriously. Last month, he signed and passed a law under which the restaurants will have to provide their customers with separate recycling bins from the regular food waste bins. These bins will be used to toss organic wastes. This new law is referred to as AB 827.

Facts about AB 827

  • The AB 827 is a part of an ongoing effort towards establishing better infrastructure for waste distribution in California. The state aims at diverting 75 percent of its solid waste from landfills by next year. The state aims at combining recycling, composition and waste reduction in order to achieve this goal.
  • Limited-service restaurants are expected to adhere to the law by July 1st 2020. With the help of the California Recycling Agency, efforts are being put towards helping consumers know which bin to use for which purpose.
  • This law is specific to limited-service restaurants. The reason as to why full-service restaurants are not subjected to it is that in such restaurants, the wait staff and the table service staff separate the food-waste during the process of dishwashing. This is true for post-consumer food waste as well.
  • Additionally, there are some limited-service restaurants that are also exempted from this law on the basis of case-by-case. This means that restaurants that are located in a historic building and does not have adequate space to accommodate additional waste bins have the chance to make a case to be exempted from the law.
  • The AB 827 law is the first regulation that will see to the introduction of food waste bins for collecting food-soiler paper and food waste in addition to the existing solid waste recycling bins and trash bins.

This is just the beginning of the unveiling of a series of regulations regarding waste and packaging as the California Recycling Agency is burning the midnight candle with lawmakers to come up with more. Other regulations are set to be introduced sequentially in 2020. 

Other Tips for Waste Reduction in Restaurants

Other restaurants have adopted the following measures to reduce food waste;

  • Creating garbage management teams
  • Disposing different wastes in different containers
  • Sorting and weighing wastes
  • Changing the menu
  • Using high-quality kitchen equipment
  • Adopting proper storage
  • Regularly auditing wastes and identifying the quantity of the different types of wastes
  • Rotating food in the warehouse and fridge often


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