Business Commercial Recycling Requirements

A business (includes public entities) that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services. Businesses can take one or any combination of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:

  • Self-haul.
  • Subscribe to a hauler(s).
  • Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.
  • Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.

A property owner of a commercial business or multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.

CalRecycle advises businesses to contact their “Annual Report Contacts” or “Jurisdiction Contacts” to find out how to recycle in their community and if there are any specific requirements in their community. Communities may have mandatory commercial recycling ordinances with different thresholds or more specific business recycling requirements than the state law. The local recycling coordinator also may have related business opportunities and/or resources to share.

Recycling benefits identified by CalRecycle include:

  • Opportunities for businesses or multifamily complexes to save money.
  • Creating jobs in California by providing materials for recycling manufacturing facilities.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Keeping valuable materials out of landfills.
  • Creating a healthy environment for the community and future generations by recovering natural resources.
  • Local Government Requirements. Each jurisdiction shall implement a commercial solid waste recycling program that consists of education, outreach and monitoring of businesses, that is appropriate for that jurisdiction and is designed to divert commercial solid waste from businesses, whether or not the jurisdiction has met the requirements of PRC Section 41780.

    Each jurisdiction shall report the progress achieved in implementing its commercial recycling program, including education, outreach and monitoring, and if applicable, enforcement efforts and exemptions, by providing updates in its electronic annual report.

  • CalRecycle Review. CalRecycle will review each jurisdiction’s commercial recycling program that consists of education, outreach and monitoring. The following is an overview of the review process:
    • An evaluation as part of its formal AB 939 review, conducted every two or four years pursuant to PRC 41825, of each jurisdiction’s programs, which includes an annual jurisdiction site visit, review of the Electronic Annual Report, and other information a jurisdiction may deem relevant.
    • If the jurisdiction is found to not have made a good-faith effort in implementing its programs, possibly including its mandatory commercial recycling program, CalRecycle can place the jurisdiction on a compliance order as part of the AB 939 review, and if it fails to adequately meet the conditions of the compliance order, then CalRecycle could consider a penalty hearing.