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 videos, workbooks, guides, signs and other useful materials.

NEW! Instructional videos are now available to walk you through the Recycling Rules. Start with the Intro video for an overview of the rules, then watch along to see how to set up indoor recycling stations. The third video in the series provides a refresher on how to properly sort recyclables, organics, and garbage.

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 translated ordinance information and resources in Spanish (Español), Chinese (中文), Korean (한국인), and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) visit

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. 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.

City by City contact information - .pdf

This 1-page quick reference sheet provides contact information for recycling, organics, and garbage service providers by city. This is useful particularly for owners and managers with commercial properties in multiple cities.

More detailed information and links to city and service provider websites can be found in Rules by City pages.

To help communicate the Ordinance requirements with non-English speakers, materials have been translated into Spanish (Español), Chinese (中文), Korean (한국인), and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt). These in-language webpages are all available through

The “Overview Flyers” provide a one-page summary of the Recycling Rules and resources available.

Create indoor recycling stations by grouping color-coded bins and labeling them with stickers. Use signs at eye level to show what goes in each bin—recycling, organics, and garbage. Signs should include photos that closely reflect the materials generated at that location. This helps people understand with a quick glance how to sort properly.

For more information about setting up recycling stations, use the new Indoor Bin Guide & Worksheet.

In addition to the printable signs and posters and free stickers listed below, collection service providers and cities may also provide city-specific materials. Scroll down for links to those.

Free Stickers for Indoor Bins

These generic color-coded stickers (recycling, organics, paper towels only, flatten cardboard and garbage only) are available to Alameda County businesses to place on indoor bins. They may be ordered here, as supplies last.

Custom Wall Signs for Recycling, Organics and Garbage

Make your own signs, showing materials generated at your business, with our easy-to-use Sign Maker Tool. Print and post these above recycling, organics, and garbage bins. The more closely your signs reflect the materials actually generated at your site, the easier it will be for staff and customers to sort correctly.

Tip: include items people tend to put in the wrong place.

Pre-made Wall Signs

These color-coded signs can be posted near recycling, organics, and garbage bins to show the basic types of materials that go in each container.

Customized Instructions for Staff

Help your employees and custodians use the right bags and transfer materials correctly from indoor to outdoor bins with customized instructions. This customizable poster can be printed and used during trainings and placed back of house in a prominent place near the exit door for an easy daily reminder.

Recycling Rules Poster

This printable poster helps to remind employees and tenants of the recycling rules and that organics, recyclables and garbage need to be kept separate.

Food Scrap Recycling Poster - .pdf

This pre-made organics poster shows what is acceptable in a typical food scrap recycling program.


City-Specific Posters and Stickers

Many haulers and cities can supply you with posters and/or stickers that are specific to the materials they accept. Downloadable support materials can be accessed by clicking on the below links, then scrolling to the Support Materials section.

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.

Instructional Videos

This 3-part video series provides an overview of the Recycling Rules in Alameda County, steps for setting up indoor recycling and organics bins, and how to sort properly to comply with law. Use these as helpful tools for training new employees, or to use as annual reminders for employees, tenants, and contractors (such as janitorial staff).


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.

Quick Guide to Setting-Up Indoor Bins - .pdf

Use this step-by-step guide and worksheet to help determine the indoor recycling, organics, and garbage containers and signs needed to set your site up for success.

Container Count Worksheet - .xlsx

For larger sites, use this Excel file to tally up the number of indoor bins needed. This worksheet can be used with the Indoor Bin Guide (see above).


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.

Surplus Food Donation: A Guide for Food Service Providers in Alameda County - .pdf

This step-by-step guide helps businesses set up a surplus food donation program that works for their operations, including how to find a non-profit donation partner. It also provides guidance on legal protections and safe food handling requirements.

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.