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Organics – Cannabis Waste Recycling

Cannabis businesses must implement commercial recycling and organics recycling programs to be compliant with the following mandates: AB 341 (commercial recycling), AB 1826 (commercial organics recycling), and SB 1383 (organics recycling).

Cannabis businesses generate waste that needs to be separated into different waste streams (waste collection containers).  This includes organics (cannabis waste), general business waste that can be recycled or solid waste (non-recyclable office/farm waste and waste from bathrooms etc).

Salinas Valley Recycles is here to help cannabis businesses achieve compliance and zero waste goals!

Our free services include:

  • FREE On-site Waste Assessments
  • FREE Presentations & Staff Training
  • FREE Consultation with you and your waste hauler to set up/adjust service levels (size of waste containers)

Contact us at 775-3000 to find out what we can do for you!

Cannabis waste can fall into any of these three waste streams:

  1. Organic Waste
  2. Solid Waste
  3. Hazardous Waste

Knowing how to handle your cannabis waste is the first step in compliance and achieving your businesses sustainability goals.

Organic waste – Green Waste

The following items or materials are considered green waste and should be placed into the green waste bin:

    • Cannabis plant parts – un-rendered or when rendered unusable with other organic materials
      • Sticks, stems, and leaves can be collected and processed as green waste
      • No rendering required on-site
      • Do not bag material, leave loose
      • Do not mix green waste with soil and or root balls in rock wool.
      • Post-production flowers, oils, waxes, concentrates must be rendered on-site if deemed non-hazardous and can be collected as green waste or food waste (do not mix with trash). Can be rendered with organic materials (green waste, coffee grounds, sawdust, etc.).
    • Spent products must be de-packaged and rendered on-site (Can be rendered with other organic materials and placed in green waste bin

See our Fee Schedule for self-haul charges for green waste.

Solid waste – Trash/Garbage Bin

The following items or materials are considered solid waste and can be placed into the trash:

    • Sticks, stems, and leaves when combined with or contains any non-organic materials (non-organic material is anything that has never been alive such as, rock wool, plastic, general trash, etc.)
    • Spent soil and root balls in rock wool
    • Used/ non-marketable vape cartridges (cartridges only without batteries)

See our Fee Schedule for self-haul charges for solid waste.  Note there are additional fees for Certified Burial.

rockwool for planting seedlings

Hazardous waste

Special Handling required, not picked up by your waste hauler

The following items or materials are considered hazardous and can not be placed into the trash, recycling or green waste bins.  These require special handling.:

    • Cannabis plant parts when combined with or contains any hazardous or toxic material (including universal waste)
    • Hazardous materials, including universal waste, must be collected by HazMat hauling service. See DTSC Transporter Listing
    • Vape pens with non-removable batteries and all removable batteries must be collected as universal waste (u-waste) and cannot go in the trash
    • Solvents, compressed gasses or any other hazardous waste generated onsite
Not Garbage icon
vape smoke cloud and vape
No Chemicals down Drain


Organic waste: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and foodsoiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.  Organic waste includes all matter that was once alive regardless of how it was grown – plants and animals.  Organically grown (without pesticides) and Conventional crops both create organic waste that can be composted and returned to the soil. 

Cannabis Waste: means waste that contains cannabis.  


On January 1, 2018 recreational cannabis became legal to cultivate, distribute, manufacture and sell in California. Cannabis businesses are regulated by Monterey County.  Cannabis permits fall under three different State licence types. You can find cannabis waste management requirements for each license type through the three cannabis regulatory agency regulations: