State Law Updates: More sites must compost, bins for customers required
Beginning September 15, 2020, State law AB 1826 requires all businesses, institutions, and multifamily properties that generate two or more cubic yards of solid waste per week (garbage and recycling service volumes combined) to also have organics collection service for compostable materials. Compostable materials (organics) include food scraps, food soiled-paper, and plant debris. The prior threshold under the state law that triggered the need for organics service was 4 or more cubic yards of weekly solid waste service.
Note: Most businesses and institutions have been required to recycle since 2012 under both State law AB 341 and the Alameda County Mandatory Composting and Recycling law.
Customer area recycling bins now required
State law AB 827 went into effect July 1, 2020 and requires businesses and multifamily properties to provide customers with recycling and/or composting containers adjacent to each garbage container. Bins must be clearly labeled with educational signs.
Local law requires proper sorting
The Alameda County Mandatory Composting and Recycling law requires businesses to sort materials into the proper containers.
Organics: Food scraps, compostable paper, and plant debris ONLY. No garbage or recycling.
Recycling: Bottles, cans, paper and cardboard ONLY. No garbage or organics.
Garbage: Garbage ONLY. No organics or recycling.
Click here for free support including virtual assistance and trainings, how-to videos, indoor green bins, stickers, posters, and more.
Recycling at Work Webinar Recording: Proper Sorting & Tips for Training
Do paper cups go into the organics bin? Should plastic containers be rinsed or wiped out? Recycling and composting at work is the law, but sorting right can be tricky. Watch this webinar recording to learn about what goes where and tips for training employees, tenants, and contractors!
Plus: What you need to know about the recycling and composting law, and free & easy resources to help you comply.
Back to Business: Free Tools for Recycling Success (Webinar Recording)
45-min Recording of “Back to Business” webinar on June 25, 2020
Is your business gearing up to reopen? As you think about how to do business in our new COVID-19 world, don’t forget to include your garbage and recycling setup.
Watch this webinar recording on the topic for a refresher on the recycling rules for Alameda County businesses and to learn more about the free resources available to help your business recycle and compost right!
New COVID-19 Trash & Recycling FAQ for Multifamily Properties
Where do disposable wipes go? Can masks and gloves be recycled?
This new flyer provides answers to common trash and recycling questions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Print and post in a common area at your site or pass along to tenants. The same content is also available as a Word file to copy/paste into emails or newsletters.
How-To Videos Help Businesses Recycle & Compost, June 2019
Under Alameda County’s Mandatory Composting and Recycling Ordinance, most businesses, institutions, and multi-family properties are required to have recycling and organics collection service. Businesses must also sort materials properly. A new series of videos is now available to help you set up a successful recycling and composting program.
Consider using the videos in staff trainings or emailing the links to employees, contractors, and/or tenants to view when they have a few spare minutes. The videos are a great refresher on the recycling rules and how to comply during day-to-day operations. Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
Tip: Make the videos even more effective by pairing them with other tools like posters, stickers, and guides. See more resources here.
State Law Requires More Businesses to Compost, January 2019
Under State of California laws AB 341 and AB 1826, certain businesses and institutions are required to recycle and compost. As of January 1, 2019, the State requires more sites to have organics collection service; businesses and institutions that generate 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week must have organics collection service.
Materials that must be composted include food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper.
AB 341 has required recycling at many businesses since July 1, 2012. Materials that must be recycled include bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard.
Additionally, the Mandatory Composting and Recycling law in Alameda County requires businesses to sort their waste into the proper containers.
For more information about the State’s mandatory commercial recycling and composting laws, visit https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/ and https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics.
For more information about the local recycling rules or to access free support services and materials to set up or improve your recycling and organics program, visit www.RecyclingRulesAC.org/resources.
Recycling Rules in Effect in All Participating Cities
Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance first went into effect in 2012 for recycling requirements, then expanded in 2014 requiring the collection of compostable materials such as food scraps and food-soiled paper (organics) as well. Though some jurisdictions chose to participate on a delayed schedule, three cities have added new requirements over the last year, and all participating jurisdictions are now on board.
Effective July 1, 2017 City of Fremont businesses and multi-family properties with five or more units are required to provide adequate on-site collection service for compostable materials (organics) in addition to recycling. Organics include compostable materials such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, and plant debris.
On January 1, 2018, recycling requirements became effective at all businesses in the City of Union City. This includes those businesses with less than four cubic yards of weekly garbage service. Organics collection requirements also went into effect at businesses and multi-family properties with five or more units.
Organics collection requirements were added in the City of Newark at the same time as Union City. Businesses of all sizes and multi-family properties with five or more units throughout the jurisdiction are now required to provide adequate collection service for organics in addition to recycling.
While all businesses in participating jurisdictions are now covered under the ordinance, only those that generate 20 or more gallons of organics (food scraps, compostable paper, and plant debris) must have organics service.
Whether requirements in your city are new or have been in effect for years, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority is here to help you comply, with free on-site assistance and support materials.
Three Cities Add Recycling Rules - Spring 2017 Update
Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance first went into effect in 2012 for recycling requirements, then expanded in 2014 requiring the collection of compostable materials such as food scraps and food-soiled paper (organics) as well. Some jurisdictions chose to participate on a delayed schedule, with Fremont set to roll out organics collection requirements effective July 1, 2017. No fines will be issued before January 1, 2018 for organics violations in Fremont.
On January 1, 2017, the unincorporated area of Oro Loma Sanitary District where composting was not yet mandatory, joined the rest of the jurisdiction and is now participating in the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance. Businesses of all sizes and multi-family properties with five or more units throughout the jurisdiction are now required to provide adequate collection service for recycling as well as organics.
At the same time as Oro Loma Sanitary District, Pleasanton also expanded their participation in the Ordinance. Recycling requirements are now effective at all businesses—including those with less than four cubic yards of weekly garbage service—and organics collection requirements are required at all businesses (if they generate enough organic waste) and multi-family properties with five or more units.
No matter if requirements in your city are new or have been in effect for years, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority is here to help you comply, with free on-request support services and materials.
Beneficial State Bank Wins StopWaste Award
Photo caption: Beneficial State Bank in Oakland won a 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award, presented by Abel Guillen, City of Oakland Councilmember (left).
Beneficial State Bank is a triple bottom-line financial institution headquartered in Oakland, CA with a total of 12 branches in California, Oregon, and Washington. They received a 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Recycling & Composting for their outstanding environmental performance and business efficiency.
Beneficial’s commitment to waste reduction goes well beyond the requirements under Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance. Beneficial’s purchasing policy promotes reusable food service ware and recycled content products. In line with their zero-waste goals, the Oakland branch’s “Green Team” conducted a waste assessment to evaluate Beneficial’s recycling and composting efforts. The results informed an internal outreach campaign to employees. The program has since expanded to all five original Beneficial State Bank branches, including bi-annual waste audits, improved signage, educational “waste-less” lunch conversations and more.
Annie Claybaugh, Director of Operations for Beneficial State Foundation, credited the “Green Team” at the Oakland branch for leading Beneficial’s efforts to reduce waste to landfill. “Having a dedicated Green Team supported by Executive Leadership at the Bank and Foundation has been our key to success,” said Annie. “There is a strong commitment to zero waste at Beneficial.”
Beneficial’s award was one of five Business Efficiency Awards presented March 22 at the offices of StopWaste, the public agency responsible for reducing waste in Alameda County,. For more information about the 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards visit www.StopWaste.org/2017awards.
How Felson Companies Motivates Tenants to Sort Right
Hayward-based Felson Companies manages over 1,300 apartment units in Alameda County. A “no waste” attitude has been at the core of Felson Companies’ values ever since its founding in 1940. When setting up collection service for compostable materials (“organics”) became the law for multi-family properties in Hayward under the Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance in July 2015, Felson Companies was on board right away. Each of their Hayward residential communities added organics bins to the existing trash and recycling receptacles and devised an outreach strategy to help tenants participate in the program.
“Sure you need to have the containers in convenient locations and provide good signage to show tenants what goes where, but that alone won’t get folks to separate properly,” said Tami Santos, Community Manager at Felson Companies’ 146-unit Mission Heights Apartments.
Upon move-in, Santos gives each new tenant a one-on-one orientation about disposal rules at the community, along with a kitchen pail for food scraps, guide, and compostable bags to line the pail. They also walk the property, making a stop at the trash enclosures. “We are keeping these areas really neat and clean, so tenants like using them,” remarks Santos. When tenants come to the office to renew their lease, staff uses the opportunity to remind residents of the recycling and composting rules.
The efforts pay off: Combined, Felson Companies’ seven residential communities in Hayward collect some 94 cubic yards of food scraps and food soiled paper each month for composting. Blake Felson, Director of Facilities at Felson Companies concludes: “We comply with the law, we reduce our operating expenses, we do our part for the planet, and our residents like it. Everybody wins.”
Felson Companies was formally recognized for their outstanding achievements with a 2016 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Recycling and Composting.
Get help engaging tenants in recycling and composting at your multi-family property with free resources for property managers including posters, letter templates, and a detailed how-to guide.