Organic Waste Diversion and Compostable Materials Laws and Regulations

This page is intended to provide quick and easy access to state and municipal laws and regulations regarding organics diversion and compostable materials.

It is important to understand organics diversion policy, and how it can impact your business or organization.  This information is not intended to be all inclusive, nor is it intended to provide legal advice and/or safe harbor. It is recommended that you check with your local government to ensure you’re in full compliance of all recycling laws and regulations.

Learn more about zero-waste and organics diversion here.

We have detailed state, municipal, and regional policy documents available.  Contact us to learn more!



  • SB 54 / AB 1080 (2019)  – Plastic pollution reduction act.  Learn more.
  • § 42649.81-82 (2014) – Organic recycling mandate. Learn more.
  • SB 1383 (2016)  – Methane emissions reduction act.  Learn more.
  • AB 341 (2011) – Statewide zero waste mandate for 2020. Learn more.
  • AB 2449 (2006) – Statewide single use plastic bag ban. Learn more.
  • AB 1972 (2008) – “Biodegradable” plastics must be certified compostable by ASTM (or similar) for yard debris collection. Learn more.

City of San Francisco

  • §§ 1901–1912; Ordinance 100-09 (2006) – Mandatory recycling and composting.  Learn more.


City of Boulder:

  • Code 6-3-13 to 6-3-18; ordinance 8045 (2015) – Organic waste recycling law.  Learn more.



  • SB 584 (2019) – Requires produce bags offered to consumers be certified by the BPI.  Learn more.
  • § 22a-226e; Act 11-217, Act 13-285 (2014) – Mandatory organics recycling.  Learn more.



  • HB 171/SB 99 (2019) – Organic material study requirement.  Learn more.
  • HB 1349 (2017) – Requirements for the labeling of compostable products.  Learn more.



  • 310 CMR 19.000 (2014) – Organic material waste ban. Learn more.



  • HF 430 (2010) – Compostable bag mandate. Learn more.
  • HF 2564 (2014) – Statewide solid waste source reduction goal established. Learn more.

Hennepin County:

  • Ordinance 13 (2020) – Commercial organic waste recycling ordinance. Learn more.

City of Saint Paul:

  • Ordinance 17-29, chapter 236 (2019) – Environmental preservation ordinance related to plastic packaging.  Learn more.

City of Saint Louis Park:

  • Zero-waste packaging; Section 12-201 – 12-210 (Upcoming) – Zero-waste packaging ordinance.  Learn more.

New York


  • § 27-2201 (2019) – All food waste generators must separate their excess edible food for donation and, if within 25
    miles of a compost facility, must separate organics and inedible food scraps from all other waste. Learn more.
  • Title 22, § 27-2203 to 27-2219 (2022) – Food donation and recycling requirements.  Learn more.

New York City:

  • Local Law 146 of 2013 – Commercial organic waste ban. Learn more.
  • Local Law 77 of 2013 – Curbside Collection program. Learn more.



  • Food Scrap Separation for Businesses -Starting in 2020, businesses will be required to separate food scraps from other garbage. The plan is focused on ‘back of house’ operations. Learn More.

Rhode Island


  • § 23-18.9-17 (2019) – Refuse disposal and food waste ban.  Learn more.


City of Austin:

  • § 15-6-91; Ordinance 20140612-010 (2018) – Universal recycling ordinance (including organics).  Learn more.



  • Act 148 (2012)  – Universal recycling law.  Learn more.
  • S.285, Act 208 – Food waste disposal ban.  Learn more.



  • HB 1569 (2019)  – Requirements for the labeling and marketing of compostable food service packaging.  Learn more.

City of Seattle:

  • SMC 21.36.082 and 21.36.083 (2014) – Food waste ban in City of Seattle. Learn more.
  • SMC 21.36.086 (2010) – Requires the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware.  Learn more.
  • Single-use Plastic Bag Ban (2021) – Washington has also enacted a plastic bag ban on single-use plastic
    carryout bags. This includes fees for paper and reusable plastic bags and an optional fee for certified
    compostable bags. This legislation was set to take effect in January 2021 but has been delayed until July
    due to COVID-19.

Learn more about Food Waste Policy

Use ReFed – U.S. Food Waste Policy Finder to learn more about food waste and organics diversion policy, how it impacts businesses and consumers, and what you can do to make a difference.

Visit the US Composting Council (USCC), to learn about legislation pertinent to each state, regulatory agencies, and more.

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