Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot

Throwing your waste in the trash costs your business money. Businesses around Hayward are cutting their garbage bills in half by following the 4 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Rot.

“It’s no secret that restaurants are consumers of resources and create a fair amount of waste. Sustainability is our passion, but more importantly, it’s our obligation.”

- Jeff Rosen, Chef at Cannery Café, a Certified Green Business and 2015 Environmental Award Winner

Cut your garbage bill by following these steps:

  1. Reduce – Don’t purchase more than you need
  2. Reuse – Reuse packaging materials, mugs, and office supplies
  3. Recycle – Plastic, paper, and glass products go in your recycle bin
  4. Rot – Food scraps, soiled paper, paper towels, and plan debris go in your organics bin

It’s mandatory.

The City of Hayward, in collaboration with Alameda County public agency StopWaste, is developing an ordinance to implement the requirements of the new California State law SB 1383. The Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance (ORRO) would replace the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance (MRO) beginning January 1st, 2022. To review the draft ordinance, see the attachments from the September 13, 2021 City Council Sustainability Committee meeting. 
More information about the rules for residents, businesses, institutions, and multi-family properties under the new ordinance can be found at the StopWaste State and Local Organics & Recycling Law page.  
The Hayward City Council will consider adoption of the ORRO at their meeting on November 2, 2021 (was previously scheduled for October 26). To participate, find the meeting in the Meeting and Agenda Center. There is an opportunity for public eComments to be submitted beginning at 5:00 p.m., the Thursday/Friday before the Tuesday meeting. The comment period will close at 5:00 p.m. the day before the meeting to allow Council members the opportunity to read the comments. 
For more information on how to watch and participate in virtual Hayward City Council meetings, visit

FAQs: SB 1383 Food Donation Requirements

What are the new requirements of the Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance (ORRO) compared to the current Mandatory Recycling Ordinance (MRO)? 
The edible food recovery components for commercial edible food generators and food recovery organizations/service are the main “new” requirements. Other business and multifamily internal requirements that are different than the MRO include: 
  • the provision of color-coded, labeled bins in customer areas (in common areas for multifamily), except for in restrooms;
  • to the extent practical, businesses should also prohibit employees from placing materials in improper containers and periodically inspect their internal containers for contamination and inform employees if containers are contaminated.
How is “surplus edible food” defined?
The definition of “edible food” is taken from the SB 1383 Regulations and means food intended for human consumption. It clearly states that nothing requires or authorizes the recovery of edible food that does not meet food safety standards. 

Will food donations be tax deductible?
Food donated to non-profit food recovery organizations will continue to be eligible for tax deductions.

Will donors receive assistance with the transportation of surplus food to those in need?  
Historically, most food recovery organizations have picked up food donations from donors, but this may shift in the future. There are also a growing number of “food recovery services” that can serve as a liaison between donors and food recovery organizations to assist with transportation.   

Baxter Recycling
Baxter in Hayward has implemented collection of recyclables and organics and provides reusable dishware and utensils throughout their facility

Have question? Need help?

Request free on-site technical assistance from Waste Management

It is the mission at to help you reduce your trash. They have grants, kits, and more.
Recycling Helpline: 1.877.STOPWASTE (786.7927)
StopWaste Office: 510.891.6500

City of Hayward Solid Waste Division

Kitchen staff at Le Paradis
Kitchen staff at Le Paradis restaurant in Hayward set aside food scraps to go in their organics cart.

Tips for Reducing and Reusing

  • Packaging: Learn about ways to redesign and reduce packaging at Stopwaste’s Reduce Packaging Waste site. Read success stories of local businesses.
  • Styrofoam Alternatives: Note that the City has banned polystyrene. Restaurants and all other vendors selling food at retail must use only paper, cardboard, aluminum or recyclable plastic cups, plates, bowls or trays.
  • Reusable Bags: Note that the City, along with the County of Alameda, has banned plastic bags at many retailers.
  • Food Waste: Food service establishments can receive tax benefits in return for donating edible food to food banks and other sources. Learn more about ways to minimize and redirect food waste by visiting Stopwaste’s Reduce Wasted Food site.
  • Paper: Using paper inefficiently can be like throwing money into the recycle bin. Learn about the impact of paper consumption and how to minimize paper use at Stopwaste’s Reduce Paper Use site.
  • Junk Mail: Nearly 100 million trees get used for junk mail in the United States every year. Visit Stop Waste’s Stop Business Junk Mail site to learn how you can save time and trees.
  • Old future, clothes, or other textiles: Check out organizations such as Usagain, Recycle Change, and Reuse Clothes and Shoes to find out where you can donate old items.
  • Other items? Stop Waste offers a useful tool called Recycle Where, which allows you to search your item and location to find local places to recycle, reuse, or donate.

Tips for Recycling and Rotting