California state legislation SB 1383 and AB 1826 require businesses generating a significant amount of organic material to arrange for organics recycling in order to keep that material out of the landfill. As of 2020, this regulation affects businesses that generate 2 cubic yards of any type of solid waste per week. In addition to state law compliance, businesses benefit from reducing and diverting organic waste by realizing large cost savings and strengthening their customer and employee base.

Through our Less to Landfill program, Solana Center will suggest simple steps, customized for your business or restaurant, to ensure that you are in compliance with state waste disposal requirements, food recovery requirements, and not wasting money on wasted food. Solana Center will provide a detailed analysis of your current waste situation and recommend solutions, such as connecting with edible food donation entities, recycling organic materials or sending food to partner farms for animal feed, or beginning a relationship with a local compost hauler.

Thanks to Solana Center's contracts with the City of Encinitas, this service is provided FREE to restaurants and businesses within Encinitas city limits!

The City of Encinitas and the City of Oceanside are also offering free food recovery services to businesses within city limits. 

What are the benefits of a waste assessment?

Cost savings
Ensured compliance
Marketing boost
Environmental value

Hands-on Experience in the Field

Since 2015, Solana Center has been working directly with businesses through our Less to Landfill program to eliminate food waste - from purchasing to disposal. We've learned a lot through ongoing research and work in restauraunts.

  • The average waste per restaurant meal is a 1/2 pound.
  • For every $1 businesses invest in food waste prevention, they can save $6+.
  • Determining where food waste is generated - food prep vs. plate scrapings - impacts the solution set. 
  • Based on restaurant type, the portion of food waste from kitchen prep varies widely (20%-60%).
  • Solutions for food waste must be tailored for business type, size, menu planning, and business processes.


Solana Center will send a representative into your business or restaurant to observe the space, current practices and waste receptacle locations, and speak with a staff about needs and hurdles unique to your business. We will then take a sample of your waste to assess for causes, areas of reduction, and best practices to minimize and divert. Solana Center will provide your restaurant or business with:

  • Review of current waste disposal practices in use and identify unique challenges associated with operation and business.
  • Summary of any waste prevention and reduction practices already implemented.
  • Assessment of waste diversion processes and recommendations to comply with AB1826, SB1383 and AB827 requirements
  • Report outlining waste audit analyses with quantifiable data on your waste composition leading to practical solutions to sent less to the landfill.
  • Signage and training for staff members on providing contaminant-free organic waste.


A fast food restaurant in Encinitas saved $250/month in hauling fees with the Less to Landfill program, and it was easy.

"The training costs were negligible. The program was rolled out during the regular crew meeting and follow up consisted of a notice posted in the break area. Aside from forwarding email reports and two follow up phone calls, we achieved our success rate with no other effort." -  Anonymous

Get Started Now

Contact Solana Center's Zero Waste Coordinator to get your business started with Less to Landfill: zero.waste@solanacenter.org | (760) 436-7986 ex.701