Businesses generate almost
three-fourths of all solid waste in California according to CalRecycle (Calif. Dept. of Resources
Recycling and Recovery). Most of this waste is recyclable and can include paper,
plastic, cardboard and organic material.
The new Mandatory Commercial
Recycling Regulation (AB 341), approved and signed into law last year, went into effect July 1. The law requires that businesses implement a recycling program
if they generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week.
Multifamily residential dwellings with at least five units must also recycle as
well as schools and municipalities.
Organics can make up a major
portion of a business' commercial waste stream. In fact, 30.4 percent of all
commercial waste is organics and can include food waste, leaves, grass
clippings, tree trimmings and branches (CalRecycle Waste
The intended results of the
new regulation are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep recyclable
materials out of landfills and create a healthy environment for the community
and future generations. The law is expected to affect about 470,000 businesses
and multifamily residences in the state. CalRecycle estimates an average annual
statewide cost savings of between $40 million and $50 million. Individual
businesses may reduce costs through lower disposal fees and reuse opportunities.
As part of AB 341, every
jurisdiction (a city, county or a regional agency responsible for meeting
Integrated Waste Management Act requirements) must provide recycling education,
outreach and monitoring services to businesses in their area. Most
jurisdictions already have some kind of existing commercial recycling program
Labels: AB 341, California recycling law, July 1, mandatory commercial recycling law, mandatory recycling