Does CalRecycle Own Any Recycling or Waste Businesses?

A Brief Overview of Waste Collection and Recycling in California

When it comes to waste and recycling, California has a jurisdiction/state system similar to our nation’s state/federal system. This system allows local communities to customize their waste management programs while complying with state laws. CalRecycle does not own or operate any waste management or recycling facilities or hauler services in the state. As a result, there is no standardized universal waste management system throughout the state. Instead, the department provides oversight to local governments and businesses to ensure they comply with state laws and work to meet statewide recycling goals and mandates.

Most jurisdictions contract with private waste hauler businesses to collect waste from residents and businesses. A hauler provides residents and businesses with collection containers (often called bins or dumpsters) and collection service. These contract agreements are strictly between the jurisdiction and the hauler, and are not subject to CalRecycle oversight.  

CalRecycle, in partnership with local enforcement agencies (LEA), regulates the operation of solid waste handling, processing, and disposal activities to protect the public health and safety and the environment as well as ensure a level playing field for solid waste businesses. CalRecycle certifies LEAs to ensure the facilities/operations within their jurisdiction operate according to state minimum standards and permit conditions. Although each LEA is responsible for its jurisdiction, CalRecycle provides training, guidance and oversight to ensure LEAs consistently and equitably enforce state laws to ensure facilities are operating effectively.

CalRecycle activities include certifying and evaluating local enforcement agency programs; reviewing/concurring on permit and closure/post closure documents; inspecting all facilities before permits are issued; and inspecting active and closed landfills and other facilities in coordination with the LEA.

Although California does not own any haulers, waste facilities, or recycling centers, CalRecycle does manage and mitigate the impacts of solid waste by ensuring local compliance with regulations and state minimum standards through integrated and consistent permitting, inspection, and enforcement efforts.

To learn more about local opportunities to recycle, check out our Recycle webpage.

— Christina Files
Posted on Apr 11, 2019

Summary: When it comes to waste and recycling, California has a jurisdiction/state system similar to our nation’s state/federal system. This system allows local communities to customize their waste management programs while complying with state laws. CalRecycle does not own or operate any waste management or recycling facilities or hauler services in the state.