Jul 1, 2012
Assembly Bill 341, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, required that businesses arrange for recycling services by July 1st, which has already arrived. The new mandatory recycling law is now in effect.
The new commercial recycling law aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills to recycling. California businesses generate the majority of solid waste in the Golden State.
AB 341 helps to create green jobs by expanding recycling to all multi-family dwellings and commercial businesses statewide.
Cities must file yearly reports on recycling compliance with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) which will supervise the statewide regulation.
Existing state law had required 50 percent diversion of material from the waste flow, out of the landfills and into recycling or reuse. The new law changes things by mandating a statewide goal of 75 percent diversion over the next eight years.
CalRecycle is charged with the responsibility for ensuring that at least 75 percent of solid waste generated in California be source-reduced, recycled or composted by the year 2020.
The mandatory recycling law, however, became effective for commercial businesses on July 1st.
Additionally, city governments across California are obligated to begin implementing education, outreach and monitoring of a mandatory commercial recycling program.
The new California Commercial Recycling Law does not yet impose specific fines nor penalties, but the state legislation gives local jurisdictions the authority to phase-in their own rules of enforcement.
Under the new state law, all businesses and apartments must implement recycling by either reusing waste, separating recyclables or composting waste materials...
...and they must either self-haul, subscribe to a hauler, arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials, or subscribe to a recycling service that separates recyclables offsite.
Commercial Entities Which Must Be in Compliance with the
California Commercial Recycling Law
1. Commercial or public entities that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, including:
- Joint-stock companies
- Associations (for-profit or non-profit)
- Strip mall (property complexes containing two or more commercial entities)
- Industrial facilities
- School districts
- University of California
- California State University
- Community colleges
- Special districts
- Federal, state, local, regional agencies and facilities
CalRecycle estimates that approximately 250,000 businesses and 220,000 multi-family dwellings will have to take action to comply with recycling regulations resulting from AB 341, the California Commercial Recycling Law.
Special thanks to Annie from Northern California, who graciously contributed expert assistance with this article on the new California law for commercial businesses.
"We have found an overwhelming support for the new law, especially with those that do not currently recycle," said Annie. "They are excited to find out how to set up recycling and did not know that it could potentially save them money on their trash bill."
California businesses are urged read the text of California Assembly Bill 341 (pdf).
COMMERCIAL RECYCLING LAW IS NOW IN EFFECT.