To open a printable copy of the
Multi-family Property Owners FAQ, click here.
- What is the Mandatory Recycling ordinance?
- Why Alameda County Waste Management Authority adopted this ordinance?
- How is this ordinance different from State law?
- Which multi-family residential properties are affected? How do I know if my property is affected?
- How are multi-family properties affected by the ordinance?
- What must multi-family property owners do to comply?
- What materials must be recycled?
- What resources and support are available to help multi-family property owners comply?
- I rent/own a unit in a building covered under the ordinance. How am I affected?
- What will happen if I don’t follow these requirements?
More FAQ’s about the ordinance can be found here.
What is the Mandatory Recycling ordinance?
The Mandatory Recycling ordinance is a new law that prohibits the disposal of certain readily recyclable materials. It requires businesses and multi-family property owners in Alameda County to provide on-site recycling to handle the amount of recyclable material produced at those locations.
To read the full ordinance, click here.
Why has Alameda County Waste Management Authority adopted this ordinance?
The ordinance is designed to help the 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.
How is this ordinance different from State law?
State law (AB 341) also requires businesses and multi-family residential properties to provide recycling service. However, this local ordinance differs in that it clarifies which materials must be recycled. The County law requires adequate levels of recycling service and specifies how it will be enforced in Alameda County.
Which multi-family residential properties are affected? How do I know if my property is affected?
The Mandatory Recycling ordinance affects owners and managers of multi-family residential properties with five or more units in the following cities:
- San Leandro
- Union City
- Unincorporated areas of Alameda County (except those within the boundaries of the Oro Loma and Castro Valley Sanitary Districts)
*Effective March 1, 2013; enforcement begins September 1, 2013.
To confirm whether you are affected, review your solid waste bill to determine if the volume adds up to four or more cubic yards of collection per week or contact your waste hauler.
How are multi-family properties affected by the ordinance?
The ordinance requires multi-family properties to have recycling service sufficient to handle the amount of recyclables produced at the properties and provide information about recycling to their tenants.
What must multi-family property owners do to comply?
Multi-family property owners and managers are required to comply by arranging for recyclables to be separate from the garbage at the place of generation. To meet the requirements of option A) the property owner or manager must complete the following three steps in order to comply with the new law:
- Arrange for collection service of recyclables sufficient to accommodate the quantity and type of materials generated on-site.
- Provide containers for recyclables at the same location where garbage cans or bins are kept. Recycling containers must be large enough to hold all of the recyclables generated on-site.
- Provide employees with information annually describing where recycling containers are located and how to use them. For commercial property owners who lease space to one or more businesses, such information must be provided to each tenant to share with their employees.
If a multi-family property owner has an agreement with a third party to manage their solid waste collection services, both parties are responsible for compliance.
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.
Additional information about the steps multi-family property owners must take in order to comply can be found here.
What materials must be recycled?
Paper, cardboard, recyclable glass food and beverage containers, metal food and beverage cans (aluminum and steel), PET (#1) and HDPE (#2) plastic bottles, must be recycled beginning July 1, 2012. Also, ACWMA Ordinance 2008-01 prohibits the disposal of significant quantities of plant debris wherever separate plant debris or organics collection services are available.
What resources and support are available to help multi-family property owners comply?
Assistance to help owners of multi-family residential properties ensure that the recycling service and information they provide meets the requirements of the law may be available through the service provider or city. To request support, please contact your service provider or city.
I rent/own a unit in a building covered under the ordinance. How am I affected?
All Alameda County residents are encouraged to recycle and avoid disposing of covered materials in the garbage. Individual residents and tenants will not face any penalties or fines.
What will happen if I don’t follow these requirements?
Beginning January 1, 2013, if a multi-family building is found to be out of compliance with the law:
- A warning letter will be sent to the property owner; and
- Free assistance will be offered to ensure that the property owner knows what recyclable materials are covered by the law and any other actions they must take in order to comply.
If the property continues not to comply, even after assistance has been offered, the property owner may be fined. Additional information on how the law will be enforced can be found in Section 11 of the ordinance.