Compost (Organics) Collection Program

Of the 39 million tons of waste disposed of in California landfills in 2018, one third of this was compostable (organic) materials. When compostable materials such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings are buried in landfills, they decompose and produce methane, a climate change greenhouse gas contributor 80x more potent than carbon dioxide. 

Starting January 1, 2022, the State of California, Alameda County and the City of Union City require residents and businesses to separate and keep recyclable and  compostable materials out of landfills under the State’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383). This law aims to address climate change by reducing the amount of recyclable and compostable materials going to landfill by 75% by January 1, 2025.

Senate Bill (SB) 1383 is implemented in Alameda County under the county-wide Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance and in Union City under Municipal Code Chapter 7.24, in partnership with Republic Services, Tri-CED Community Recycling, and Stop Waste.  

To learn more the SB 1383 requirements and what the law means for your business, click here. For translated SB 1383 information and resources in Spanish (Español), Chinese (中文), Korean (한국인), and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) visit: www.StopWaste.org/Rules-Languages 

Why Should I Compost?

When Union City residents and businesses place compostable materials like food scraps in their green compost bin/cart, they not only reduce methane emissions, but they also create compost - a valuable soil amendment that retains moisture, conserves water, and nourishes plants and trees.

Additionally, adding recycling and compost collection services may provide your business with cost savings since compost and recycling collection services are 40% less costly than comparable landfill collection service in Union City. Adding the required service(s) may also help your business comply with SB 1383.

What is Accepted in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

Food scraps including: Commercial Composting

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Bread, pasta, and other grains
  • Fruits and vegetables along with peels, skins, pits, and rinds
  • Bones and shells
  • Tea leaves and coffee grounds. 

Food-soiled paper including: 

  • Unlined paper cups and plates
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Coffee filters and teabags (no nylon)
  • Grease-soiled pizza boxes
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Paper take-out containers. 

Yard trimmings including: 

  • Untreated wood such as wood pallets
  • Small branches
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Grass
  • Weeds and brush.

What is Prohibited in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

Recyclable and landfill materials are prohibited in your green compost bin/cart as per California’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24. Recyclable and landfill materials must be sorted and placed in the appropriate containers. Other prohibited items include:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic bags, film, wrap, and containers
  • Styrofoam products
  • Snack packaging
  • Non-compostable straws and utensils,
  • Diapers and personal hygiene products
  • Pet waste
  • Palm fronds
  • Treated wood (painted or stained)
  • Asphalt, concrete, dirt, brick, and construction and demolition debris.

It is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) such as chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers, paint, pesticides, propane tanks, sharps, and electronic waste in your recycling, compost, and landfill carts. HHW materials require careful disposal by a certified facility. Safely dispose of HHW for free at an Alameda County HHW Drop-off Facility or at County-sponsored events throughout the year. For drop-off facility locations, hours, and a list of accepted items, call (800) 606-6606 or visit www.StopWaste.org/HHW.

How Do I Establish or Improve My Compost Collection Program? 

Recycling specialists at Republic Services and Tri-CED Community Recycling are available to provide free technical assistance to help your business start or improve its recycling and/or compost program, comply with State and local regulations, and realize potential cost savings. Free technical assistance includes:

  • Assistance signing up for recycling and/or compost collection service(s). Did you know? Subscribing to recycling and compost collection services may help your business realize cost savings as recycling and compost collection services cost 40% less than comparable landfill (garbage) collection service. 
  • Waste assessments to determine the optimal collection service level for your business and potentially achieve cost savings. 
  • Staff trainings to ensure proper sorting, share best practices, and to answer questions. 
  • Setting up indoor color-coded and labeled collection containers to be compliant with SB 1383. 
  • Educational materials such as posters, service guides, and outdoor/indoor container decals to educate employees and contractors on proper sorting. 
  • General support to help your business maximize recycling opportunities and to reduce waste.

Contact your haulers today to request for free technical assistance!

Republic ServicesSB 1383 Kitchen Staff Training

Tri-CED Community Recycling

  • Phone: (510) 429-8030
  • Email: Info@Tri-CED.com 
  • Customer Service Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For additional information and resources including how to order free indoor decals and customized signs, contact StopWaste at (510) 891-6575 (leave message for call back), ask a question through the online form, or email rules@stopwaste.org.

SB 1383 Waivers

SB 1383 waivers are available for businesses who qualify:

  1. De minimus waiver: For businesses that generate a minimal amount of compostable (organic) or recyclable materials. 
    • Businesses that have 2 or more cubic yards of total weekly service (landfill and recycling combined) must generate no more than 20 gallons of recyclable/compostable materials per week to qualify.
    • Businesses that have less than 2 cubic yards of total weekly service (landfill and recycling combined) must generate no more than 10 gallons of recyclable/compostable materials per week to qualify. 
  2. Physical space waiver: For businesses where physical space constraints prohibit the addition of recycling and/or compost bins/carts. 

Certification of Recycling Service: Businesses that have alternate arrangements for recycling and/or compost collection service (e.g., the business shares service, back-hauls recyclable or compostable materials, or self-hauls recyclable or compostable materials) must complete the Certification of Recycling Service (CRS) form.

Visit StopWaste’s website to learn more about the available waivers, apply for a SB 1383 waiver, or complete a CRS form.

SB 1383 Enforcement

Failure to comply with SB 1383 requirements may result in a fine effective January 1, 2022 under Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24.  

Additional Links

Complete List of Recycling, Compost, and Landfill Collection Rates

Food Scraps Recycling for Business Program Brochure

Food Scrap Recycling Poster