Business & Apartment Recycling Now Mandatory

New California Law went into effect Sunday.


Posted by Joe Camero, Waste Management

AB 341 sets 75 percent state-wide diversion goal by 2020; Alameda County Waste Management Authority aims for 90 percent diversion

OAKLAND — June 28, 2012 – Beginning July 1, 2012, about 470,000 California businesses and apartments will be required to recycle. This includes all businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, and all multifamily residential dwellings with five units or more regardless of the amount of commercial solid waste generated.

The affected businesses represent approximately 20 percent of California’s 1.3 million businesses and are responsible for about 75 percent of the commercial waste in California, according to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s (CalRecycle) Web site.

AB 341 sets a statewide goal for 75 percent disposal reduction by 2020, and it requires local governments to inform businesses of the new Mandatory Commercial Recycling law. According to CalRecycle, the implementation of AB 341 will result in an estimated statewide average annual cost savings of $40 million-$60 million from 2012-2020.

“To achieve this goal, we are working with local governments and businesses to provide optimal solutions in their recycling and educational efforts,” said David Tucker, Director of Public Affairs, Waste Management of Alameda County.

However, in Alameda County, some cities and unincorporated area have adopted a more ambitious diversion plan by adopting the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance to meet and surpass the AB 341 requirements. According to recyclingrulesac.org, “the ordinance (2012-01) is designed to help the Alameda County Waste Management Authority reach its long-term goal of reducing waste by ensuring that recyclables and compostables make up less than 10 percent of material in the landfill by 2020.”

The following cities mandated by Ordinance 2012-01 are Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, and Union City. For more information on Ordinance 2012-01, visit recyclingrulesac.org.

“Many of commercial clients in the Bay Area have shown an eagerness to reduce the cost of their waste and, more importantly, what goes into the landfills,” said Tucker.

Waste Management worked with Tomodachi Sushi Bistro in Hayward to audit its waste disposal procedures and trash. What they discovered was more than 50 percent of the discarded material was recyclable. As a result, the restaurant changed from a six-cubic-yard trash bin to a one-cubic-yard trash bin, a three-cubic-yard recycling bin, and a one-cubic yard organics bin. The switch will net a 59 percent savings per month.

For more information on AB 341 and Mandatory Commercial Recycling, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov/climate/recycling/.

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