Businesses & Institutions Support Materials


Need help setting up or improving your workplace’s recycling program to comply with the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance? Check out these free workbooks, guides, signs and other useful materials.

For a limited time, we are offering free indoor food scrap bins, a value up to $500 per approved business. A variety of containers and lids are available. Apply today! Free stickers to label your indoor recycling, organics or garbage containers can also be requested here.

For information on how to comply with the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance, see the Businesses & Institutions Ordinance Overview page. Assistance is also available for free from the Business Assistance Team. To find more information about recycling collection services available in your city, see the Rules by City pages.

For support materials for other sectors, see Multi-family Support Materials or Schools Support Materials.

Overview of Business Recycling Rules - .pdf

This 1-page handout summarizes the compliance requirements and highlights resources available to help businesses comply with the Ordinance. It has been updated to reflect changes to requirements that are effective July 1, 2017, for Fremont.
For more details about the compliance requirements in the various Alameda County jurisdictions, go to Rules by City.

The inspectors are handing this document out if they speak to business contacts during their inspection.

Overview of Covered Accounts & Requirements by City - .pdf

This document contains a table summarizing the covered accounts and requirements for each city in Alameda County and provides information on the recycling rules by sector. This may be most useful for property owners or managers that have sites in multiple cities and want to see the summary of requirements at a glance.

Compliance Guide for Businesses - .pdf

A guide for businesses and institutions explaining how to comply with the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance. Includes tips for success and case study examples. This guide was last updated in November 2016.

To help communicate the Ordinance requirements with non-English speakers, materials have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

The “Overview Flyers” provide a one-page summary of the Recycling Rules and resources available. There are two versions – one for cities with organics and recycling requirements, and one for cities with recycling requirements. These flyers have been updated to reflect changes to requirements that are effective July 1, 2017, for the City of Fremont.

Please note that many recycling collection service providers and cities provide posters and signage specific to the materials that are recyclable in your city. Recommended: Post prominent signs on or near the recycling and garbage containers clearly indicating which are for garbage and which are for recycling. Use posters or decals that contain drawings or pictures of the materials that go into each container. This helps people understand with a quick glance how to sort the materials properly. Many haulers and cities can supply you with posters and/or decals that are specific to the materials they accept. Downloadable support material specific to cities, such as posters, can be accessed by clicking on the below links. If your service provider or city does not offer signage, you may use any applicable general signage below the city links.

Poster: Recycling and Garbage

This printable poster can be placed near recycling bins to remind employees and tenants to separate garbage and recyclable materials.

Poster: Recycling, Compostables and Garbage

This printable poster can be placed near bins to remind employees and tenants to separate garbage, recyclable and compostable materials.

Recycling, Compostables and Garbage Bin Signage - .pdf

These individual signs can be posted near recycling, compostables and garbage bins to show the basic types of materials that go in each container. Cities and service providers may also have signs specific to the materials accepted locally.

Sign Maker Tool

Make your own instructional recycling signs using our new Sign Maker Tool. It’s best to pick items people tend to put in the wrong place, and to select as few items as possible.

"Bags to Bins" Poster Tool

Customize your poster to help employees and custodians put things in the right place. Choose the bags, bins, and pick-up days for your site, then print your 8.5” x 11” poster and hang in a prominent location as a daily reminder. Also works great for your annual recycling reminder to employees, tenants, and contractors.

Poster: Food Scrap Recycling - .pdf

Another option for a poster that may be used to post above bins to explain what is acceptable in a food scrap recycling program. Please note that food scrap recycling is required by the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance, as of July 1, 2014, in certain jurisdictions. Refer to the Rules by City pages to find out if it is required in your city.

Poster: Mixed Paper Recycling - .pdf

Another option for a poster that may be used to post above bins to explain what is acceptable in a recycling program. This poster is intended for facilities where paper products are collected separately from other materials.

Poster: Mixed Beverage Container Recycling - .pdf

Another option for a poster that may be used to post above bins to explain what is acceptable in a recycling program. This poster is intended for facilities where plastic, glass and metal bottles and cans are recycled together and collection may be separate from other recyclables such as paper and cardboard.

Poster: Cardboard Recycling - .pdf

A poster that graphically explains cardboard recycling procedures to post above recycling bins, where appropriate.

Poster: Flatten Cardboard - .pdf

A poster that graphically shows flattening cardboard to post above recycling bins, where appropriate.

Recycling & Organics Decals

Many recycling collection service providers can provide recycling decals that are specific to the materials that are acceptable in your city’s recycling program. See the Rules by City pages for contact information. If decals are not available from your service provider, these generic color-coded decals (recycling, organics, paper towels only, flatten cardboard and garbage only) are available to Alameda County businesses to place on indoor receptacles. They may be ordered here, as supplies last.

Sample Memo Template for Building/Property Tenants or Company Employees/Contractors - .doc

The customizable letter provides useful, building or property specific information and describes where recycling containers (and composting containers, if applicable) are located and how to use them.

Request Free Indoor Food Scraps Collection Containers - .pdf

For a limited time, we are offering free indoor bins to qualifying Alameda County businesses and institutions, for the collection of food scraps, compostable paper and plant debris (“organics”). A variety of containers and lids are available–up to a value of $500 per approved business!

Click here to get additional information and/or to fill out the online request form.

Resources below provide guidance in determining what containers you might need or when you submit your request, you can ask for free help from our business assistance team.

Internal Containers for Recycling & Composting Collection Guidance - .pdf

This 2-page flyer contains guidance about the purchase and placement of internal containers that support recycling and composting collection programs.

Container Count Worksheet - .xlsx

A worksheet for use in assessing what trash, recycling, and composting containers you already have and what you may need for each department, area or floor.

Recycling Bin Suppliers - .pdf

Shopping for indoor recycling or food scraps/organics bins? Browse this list of bin suppliers. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all vendors, and that the Alameda County Waste Management Authority does not endorse particular vendors.

If you need indoor food scraps/organics bins, you may also apply online here to possibly receive up to a $500 value of free containers from one of three pre-selected suppliers.

Compostable Food Service Ware Guide - .pdf

Provides purchasing guidance for single use compostable food service ware items that can be placed in the organics cart/bin such as plates, cups and cutlery.

Video: How to Recycle and Compost in Commercial Kitchens (YouTube)

This 5-minute video takes viewers “back-of-house” to explore successful recycling and composting in a commercial kitchen. With captions in both Spanish and Chinese as well as detailed photos of commonly disposed items, it’s is a useful tool for managers and staff at restaurants and in other commercial kitchen settings.

Space Guidelines for Recycling, Organics & Refuse Services - .pdf

This document provides guidelines to help designers of multi-family, commercial and mixed-use buildings plan for recycling and composting collection when designing new buildings or major renovations.

Janitorial Services: Recycling Tips & Sample Contract Language - .pdf

Tips for working with janitorial staff to create a simple, easy-to-use recycling program. Includes sample contract language for your next janitorial service bid.

Tips for Minimizing Waste During a Move - .pdf

A well-planned office move can minimize waste and save your organization money. These tips provide ideas and resources to help reduce waste resulting from a move.

Recycling Case Studies

Case studies about successful business recycling programs in Alameda County. Visit it here.


For detailed information on recycling vendors by material, check out our Recycle Where? database.

Business Hazardous Waste

To get more information about business hazardous waste disposal services in Alameda County for small quantity generators, click here.