CalRecycle Enforcement and Compliance Programs

CalRecycle’s enforcement programs ensure regulated entities comply with state laws, regulations, and standards.

  • Enforcement goals include:
  • Protecting public health, safety and the environment
  • Providing the public with convenient opportunities to recycle
  • Preventing illegal recycling or waste disposal and
  • Ensuring a level playing field for related businesses.

CalRecycle focuses on deterring and preventing problems before taking formal enforcement action. Compliance is monitored through audits, investigations, evaluation and enforcement. Potential violations span a wide spectrum and almost all can result in administrative actions or civil penalties. Some are subject to criminal penalties. CalRecycle partners with the state Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Highway Patrol, and various local law enforcement agencies to pursue criminal investigations and prosecution of individuals and entities who commit program related fraud and abuse.

Enforcement Programs

Beverage Container Recycling. CalRecycle regulates the sale, collection, and recycling of beverage containers made from aluminum, glass, plastic, and bimetal. Statute and regulations apply to beverage manufacturers; retail beverage dealers and distributors; certified processors, recycling centers; certified collection, dropoff, and community service programs; and registered curbside programs. CalRecycle’s enforcement efforts focus on compliance with the recordkeeping, reporting, and operational requirements to protect the Beverage Container Recycling Fund from unsubstantiated, improper, or fraudulent program payments. Activities include, but are not limited to, training (precertification) and testing for recycling centers, inspecting and reviewing recycling centers, conducting prepayment and postpayment risk assessments of claim data, inspecting recycler loads delivered to processors, validating proper cancellation of redeemed empty beverage containers, and investigating fraudulent claims or activities.

Local Government Waste Diversion. CalRecycle ensures all California cities, counties, and approved regional solid waste management agencies plan and implement programs to divert 50 percent of their solid waste annually. Compliance and enforcement activities include reviewing annual reports/related documents and conducting site visits.

Minimum Recycled Content

  • Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers (RPPC). Ensures RPPC product manufacturers meet one of several criteria designed to reduce the amount of plastic being landfilled and increase the use of recycled plastic resin in the manufacturing of new containers.
  • Recycled-Content Newsprint. Ensures printers and publishers located in California use of a specified amount of recycled content in newsprint.
  • Recycled-Content Trash Bags. Ensures manufacturers and wholesalers selling regulated plastic trash bags to California state agencies and departments meet mandates for recycled content

Product Stewardship/Extended Producer Responsibility. CalRecycle ensures sustainable funding is available for end of life management for carpet, paint and used mattresses through partnerships with statewide, industry-led stewardship organizations. The regulated communities include manufacturers, brand owners, recyclers and renovators. CalRecycle compliance responsibilities fall into two main categories: ensuring stewardship organizations for each product are administering programs to increases the recovery and recycling of products, and listing compliant manufacturers/brands/renovators. Activities include reviewing and approving stewardship plans and conducting investigations to verify regulated manufacturers or renovators compliance to ensure a level playing field.

Solid Waste Facility Operation and Closure. CalRecycle regulates solid waste handling, processing, and disposal activities including landfills, transfer-processing stations, material recovery facilities, compost facilities, and waste-to-energy facilities. CalRecycle’s enforcement efforts focus on ensuring facilities are operating according to state minimum standards and permit conditions. Activities include certifying and evaluating local enforcement agency programs; reviewing/concurring on permit and closure/postclosure documents; inspecting all facilities before permits are issued; and inspecting active and closed landfills and other facilities.

Waste Tire Hauling and Storage. CalRecycle regulates the collection, storage, handling, and disposal of waste tires. The regulated community includes waste tire-related businesses, registered waste tire haulers/handlers and permitted waste tire storage/processing facilities. CalRecycle’s enforcement efforts ensure that facilities, sites, and haulers are operating according to state waste tire storage and handling standards. Activities include registering waste tire haulers; permitting waste tire facilities; and inspecting haulers, generators and facilities.

Annual Enforcement Reports

The CalRecycle Enforcement Report summarizes enforcement activity data for the calendar year, describes enforcement program elements, and highlights future directions. (Prior to 2010, solid waste and waste tire management programs were summarized in CalEPA Enforcement Reports.)

CalRecycle Enforcement Orders

CalRecycle Enforcement OrdersIf any enforcement actions have been taken against regulated entities by CalRecycle (or the California Integrated Waste Management Board), this page provides links to the final enforcement orders or stipulated agreements.

Enforcement Resources

The websites below provide additional information on compliance and enforcement issues handled by CalRecycle or CalEPA, as well as resources for local enforcement agencies.

Local Enforcement Agency Site. Resources for local solid waste enforcement programs including contacts, links to regulations, databases, training, and information on CalRecycle services related to solid waste facilities and storage/transportation of solid wastes.

Tire Enforcement Agency Toolbox. Resources for local tire enforcement agencies (TEA) related to their inspection and other regulatory responsibilities for tire generators, haulers, and end use facilities.

Waste Diversion Planning: Resources to help local governments meet their waste diversion mandates as well as waste planning for residential, commercial, and manufacturing sectors. Includes links to regulations, databases, CalRecycle staff and other information.

CalEPA Enforcement Site. Information on state and regional entities that enforce California’s environmental laws (air, water, hazardous waste, and pesticides) as well as training and enforcement guidance documents.

For more information contact: Legal Office,