Trash Talk

With Chamber Member Teresa Montgomery, Sustainability Manager, South San Francisco Scavenger Company,

Times are strange, even in the world of trash. What people throw out and where they throw it out has changed. South San Francisco Scavenger is collecting more from homes and less from businesses. We are seeing hundreds of disposable masks, gloves, and wipes. It is hard to believe that just over 6 months ago, these items were not a significant part of our lives.
The current situation may make it seem otherwise, but responsible handling of trash is a top priority. In fact, trash pickup is essential. It helps to keep our community safe and beautiful. Everyone needs to do their part by bagging garbage (especially items that might carry cooties) and keeping waste collection bins closed.
The State of California has additional trash-related requirements for businesses and multifamily residential properties. At the beginning of this year, Chamber CEO/President Madison Davis wrote a Luminary article entitled Recommit to Recycle. It featured information on 3 assembly bills:
AB 341—requiring all businesses and multifamily residential complexes with 5 of more living units to separate recyclable materials from garbage.
AB 1826—requiring all businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of waste (garbage & recyclables combined) per week to implement an organics recycling program.
AB 827—requiring the provision of “front of house” organic waste collection bins in all restaurants and cafeterias where patrons clear their own tables.
This information was likely lost in the shuffle caused by the pandemic, but the bills are still in place. In fact, the State recently announced that at the end of this year, AB 1826 will apply to businesses generating as little as 2 cubic yards of waste per week. In addition, Senate Bill 1383 is set for implementation beginning in 2022. This bill will require all businesses to participate in an organics recycling program. It also calls for greater monitoring of business and residential waste setouts, and enforcement of waste sorting requirements.
Look for more information on these bills and related programs in coming months. Follow us on Facebook @ssfscavenger and visit for the latest announcements.