This site © Copyright 1995, 2020 by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). All rights reserved. This publication, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.

This website is a publication of the CalRecycle, and is subject to the same policies that apply to printed publications. CalRecycle encourages use of the information in its printed and electronic publications within the established guidelines presented on this page.

General Copyright Information

The U.S. Constitution and the Federal Copyright Act extend copyright protection to the authors of original works in fixed tangible form. Among other protections, this means that an owner has the exclusive rights to:

  • Make copies of the work.
  • Prepare other works based on the original.
  • Distribute copies of the work to the public through sale, lending, lease or rental.
  • Publicly perform and/or display the work.

Copyright law may be violated whenever someone other than the copyright owner exercises any of the above rights without having express permission from the owner.

Examples of protected copyrighted works under the law include:

  • Literary works (e.g., Internet materials, fact sheets, trade journals, training materials, television programs, radio programs, books, magazines, newspapers, movies, cartoons).
  • Pictures, graphics, and sculptures (e.g., photographs, flowcharts, movie and cartoon characters, clip art, drawings).
  • Sound recordings (e.g., phonographic records, cassette tapes, compact disks).
  • Architectural works (e.g., blueprints, maps).
  • Dramatic works (e.g., plays, screenplays).
  • Audiovisual works (e.g., videotapes).
  • Computer software.

Copyright protection begins at the moment of the work's creation. Works are protected by copyright laws in the United States even if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, or if they do not carry notice that they are copyrighted (for instance, with a © symbol), and even if they are not published.

Guidelines for Using CalRecycle Materials

General Guidelines

CalRecycle encourages the public and private use of its materials in an effort to promote CalRecycle's goals of reuse, reduction, recycling, and safe disposal. As such, the use of some CalRecycle materials may not require obtaining permission prior to use. For other materials, however, CalRecycle will need to make a case-by-case determination. CalRecycle will generally allow the use of its copyrighted works if staff determines that all of the following apply:

  • The copyrighted materials are not used in a manner where CalRecycle's message is taken out of context.
  • The use is primarily for a nonprofit purpose.
  • The appearance and/or credibility of CalRecycle is not compromised or undermined.
  • The materials are used in a manner to promote the goals and purposes of CalRecycle.
  • Use of the materials will not impair or favor one individual or company over another.

Use of Recycled-Content Materials

CalRecycle's core mission is to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed in California. One of the core strategies involved in this effort is to encourage/facilitate the increased diversion of materials from landfill disposal for reuse and recycling. Fundamental to the success of any recycling effort is the development of markets for the recycled-content products produced from these materials.

While the use of CalRecycle intellectual property described below is not conditioned on the use of a specific level of recycled-content products in the printing of these materials, such use is strongly encouraged especially products containing high levels of postconsumer recycled content. Talk with your local printer about the growing selection of high quality and cost-effective recycled-content printing papers now available.


To obtain permission to use CalRecycle materials, submit a written request to CalRecycle's Publications Manager. Describe the material you wish to use and the nature of its intended use, addressing the aforementioned guidelines where possible. If the information is on the Web, please include the URL(s) of the pages you're interested in. If it is a printed publication, include the title and publication number.

Email your request to or mail to:

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
Office of Public Affairs
PO Box 4025
Sacramento, CA 95812-4025

Determinations Regarding Use

CalRecycle has made the following general determinations regarding use of its materials:

CalRecycle Logos. The CalRecycle logo and other special logos may not be used without obtaining permission from CalRecycle. To request permission to use a logo and receive files, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at or (916) 341-6300.

CalRecyle Artwork. CalRecycle artwork may be used, resized, and recolored by anyone for a nonprofit purpose without permission from CalRecycle. If artwork use is for profit, the individual must seek a written determination and permission from CalRecycle. For-profit users of the artwork must include the following credit: "© {year of creation} by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). All rights reserved."

CalRecycle Posters and Stickers. These materials may be used, resized, and reprinted by anyone for a nonprofit purpose without permission from CalRecycle. Many of these materials have been designed to provide space for local or other specific contact or event information to be included. Nevertheless, any CalRecycle copyright notice included in the printed or electronic version of these materials may not be removed. Requests for permission to materially alter the design must be submitted to CalRecycle as outlined above.

CalRecycle Web Page Content. Given the dynamic nature of information posted to the CalRecycle website, information on our website may not be copied for posting to another website or otherwise distributed. As described in our linking policy, CalRecycle welcomes and appreciates links to our website and will provide reciprocal links as appropriate under our policy.

CalRecycle Publications (e.g., reports, studies, fact sheets, booklets, brochures, videos, web pages). Written permission must be obtained for use of any of these materials. Generally, permission will be granted where the use is consistent with the aforementioned guidelines and appropriate credit is given. Some examples of the ways CalRecycle publications have been used are:

  1. Publication is used in its entirety including layout and artwork.
  2. Publication is used in its entirety including layout and artwork but with modification for another government entity to provide its own unique information such as contacts, telephone numbers, and addresses.
  3. Only the text or a portion of text of the publication is used, usually in the development of an entirely new publication (CalRecycle would need to approve the use of text in any proposed new publication by reviewing a draft of the proposed publication).

If permission is granted to use a CalRecycle publication, the following copyright notice must accompany its use: "© {year of creation} by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). All rights reserved. This publication, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission." If the publication is not used in its entirety, alternate language may be developed by CalRecycle's Public Affairs Office, in consultation with the Legal Office.

Materials Not Copyrighted. Statutes, regulations, regulatory guidelines, or reports to the Legislature are in the public domain, i.e., copyright is not claimed by CalRecycle and the materials may be freely used by anyone.