Other Recycling-Related Laws


The RecyclingRulesAC.org website covers the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance and the Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance that apply to many Alameda County businesses, institutions and multifamily properties. In addition to these local ordinances, there are several other State and local laws that apply to many of the same properties, with similar or related requirements. We’ve created this page to help businesses and multifamily properties see at a glance other recycling and waste reduction laws that may affect them. This list is not comprehensive and is intended only as a helpful starting point. Please click on the links below each law to learn more.

AB 341 went into effect in 2012 and requires businesses with four or more cubic yards of weekly garbage service and multifamily properties with five or more units to arrange for recycling service.

More information: www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial

AB 1826 went into effect in 2014 and requires businesses and multifamily properties to have organics collection service. Accounts covered by the law increased over time, and as of September 2020, businesses with two or more cubic yards of total weekly collection service are covered by the law.

More information: www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics

AB 827, effective July 1, 2020, requires businesses and multifamily properties that are subject to AB 341 or AB 1826 to provide easily accessible recycling and organics bins with signage for their customers to use. Businesses with four or more cubic yards of weekly garbage service or four or more cubic yards of total weekly collection service are covered by the law. Multifamily properties with five or more units are also covered. Full-service restaurants are exempt as long as the bins are accessible to employees. It was passed in 2019, and amends two existing laws: AB 341 Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law, and AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Law.

More information: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB827, or do a Ctrl-F find for AB 827 at: www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics/faq

SB 1383, the 2016 Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Act, establishes statewide targets to achieve 75 percent waste reduction in organics landfilled by 2025, and further requires that currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption. Effective January 1, 2022, most businesses and multifamily properties must subscribe to recycling and organics collection service, provide color-coded bins with signage in customer areas, and ensure employees are properly separating materials. Commercial edible food generators, such as grocery stores, food service providers and distributors, and wholesale food vendors and other food service facilities will be required to make arrangements with food recovery organizations to collect surplus edible food for donation.

More information: www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp

AB 1219 went into effect in 2018 and provides liability protection to potential food donors to encourage them to donate edible food rather than throw it away. The bill focuses on food that has exceeded the sell-by date, food donations that are made directly to end-users, and direct donations of agricultural crops.

More information: www.calrecycle.ca.gov/blogs/in-the-loop/in-the-loop/2017/10/30/preserving-food-and-protecting-good-samaritans

The Alameda County Reusable Bag Ordinance went into effect in 2013 and expanded in 2017, the ordinance requires all retail establishments to stop providing single use carryout bags, stock compliant reusable and paper bags at checkout, charge a minimum of 10 cents for compliant bags, and to itemize the 10 cent charge on receipts. Effective in 2017, eating establishments, which includes delivery services and ordering platforms, must also stop providing single use carryout bags. Eating establishments are not required to charge for paper bags and may provide protective plastic bags without handles. Compliant reusable bags may be distributed if at least 10 cents is charged and itemized on the receipt.

More information: www.ReusableBagsAC.org

Most cities in Alameda County have ordinances banning the use of polystyrene food service ware, better known by the brand name Styrofoam. Businesses can check StopWaste’s website to see if there is a polystyrene food service ware ban in their jurisdiction.

More information: www.stopwaste.org/at-work/regulations-and-compliance/plastic-foam-food-ware-bans