Ordinances, Resolutions, Policies & Related Guidance

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing | Illegal Dumping | Landfill Bans | Mandatory Commercial Recycling | Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling | Mandatory Refuse Collection Ordinances | Packaging Reduction | Space Allocation | Venues and Events

Landfill Bans

  1. Alameda County’s Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance requires landscape professionals, residents and businesses to separate all plant debris from garbage.
  2. Provisions of Santa Cruz County’s landfill ban and mandatory recycling ordinance are found in the County Code Title 7, Chapter 7.20, which prohibit the disposal of recyclable materials.
  3. Sonoma County enacted a landfill ban for specified recyclable materials, including cardboard, recyclable wood and yard debris.

Mandatory Commercial Recycling

  1. City of San Diego Recycling Ordinance. All single family residences; city-serviced multifamily residences; and privately serviced businesses, commercial / institutional facilities, apartments, and condominiums and special events requiring a city permit are required to recycle.
  2. City of Mendota Mandatory Recycling Service Ordinance. All persons within the city of Mendota owning or in control of premises used as occupied residence, place of business, or other building or place where persons reside, congregate or are employed shall subscribe to and thereafter use the bi-weekly scheduled mandatory recycling collection services provide by the exclusive hauler.
  3. City of Mammoth Lakes Ordinance. Addresses recycling containers, self-haul, large events/venues, exemptions, contamination and enforcement. In partnership with Sierra Conservation Project, the city provides commercial bear-proof containers at restaurants, bars and other business locations in town.

The Institute for Local Government developed resources to facilitate the implementation of commercial recycling, including a sample commercial recycling ordinance, a sample outreach and education flyer, examples of local commercial recycling programs, links to past webinars and other resources to help local officials increase commercial recycling in their communities.

CalRecycle’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Home Page

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

  1. Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance. Requires recycling and composting service for certain businesses, institutions and multifamily buildings sufficient to handle the amount of recyclables and organics (food scraps and food-soiled paper) they produce.
  2. City of Hawthorne’s Ordinance Related to Mandatory Commercial and MultiFamily Residential RecyclingPDF download. Establishes requirements for the collection and recycling of recyclable materials and collection and organics processing of organic materials generated from commercial facilities, multifamily dwellings, and large events and venues; and covers exclusions and exemptions, provisions for self-haulers, space constraints and zoning, contamination enforcement, and penalties.
  3. San Francisco Recycling and Composting OrdinancePDF download. Everyone in San Francisco is required to keep their recyclables, compostables, and trash separate.
  4. City of San Carlos Mandatory Commercial and MultiFamily Residential Recycling Ordinance. All solid waste collectors and commercial and multifamily residential solid waste customers that with two (2) cubic yards or more of weekly garbage collection service and that serve food service establishments and special events must have organics collection services.
  5. Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority (SWA). Per Ordinance 26PDF download, for businesses or franchised waste haulers to receive diversion credit for food waste (the putrescible portion of organic waste; as opposed to green/yard waste), the food waste must be delivered to a SWA-Certified Putrescible Organics Facility.
  6. City of Los Altos Ordinance. Recycling and organics recycling is mandatory for commercial businesses regardless of threshold. Large events are required to provide separate containers to divert organic materials and sure the materials are diverted.
  7. City of Milpitas Ordinance. Starting January 1, 2019 any business producing greater than 4 cubic yards of solid waste per week must segregate food waste from general refuse and participate in food waste collection service.
  8. City of Palo Alto Ordinance. Customers with third-party service or self-haul are required to divert organic materials. Large events are required to provide separate containers to divert materials. City has ability to fine for non-compliance.
  9. City of Manteca Ordinance. Organic recycling service mandatory for all businesses that generate more than 2 cubic yards of organics per week. City  may charge separate service charges for the collection of clean food waste and dirty (contaminated) food waste.
  10. City of Dinuba Ordinance. Organic waste must be source separated. If self-haul or using a third-party service then business must provide proof of recycling through scale tickets or site visit with City personnel. Non-compliance will result in citations and fees.
  11. City of Canyon Lake OrdinancePDF download. Mixed and organic recycling service is mandatory. Accounts refusing to pay for mandatory collection fees are heard at a City Council meeting. Delinquent fees are placed on property taxes.
  12. City of Norco Ordinance. Mandates recycling and organic recycling service for those meeting current threshold requirements. City may fine any non-compliance customers.
  13. City of Newport Beach Ordinance. Landscapers and gardeners are required to self-certify to the City with supporting documentation. Generators who self-haul, donate or use a third-party service must annually submit a compliance report to the City. Large events are required to provide containers for food-waste diversion.

CalRecycle’s  Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Home Page

Mandatory Refuse Collection Ordinances

Most jurisdictions have local ordinances that require property owners or occupants to subscribe to a routine refuse collection. Examples of these ordinances include:

  1. Contra Costa County Code Title 4, Chapter 418-6
  2. Kern County Code Title 8, Chapter 8.28.060
  3. Sacramento County Code Title 6, Chapter 6.20.120

Packaging Reduction

  1. City of Davis. Environmentally Acceptable Food Packaging Ordinance requires restaurants. businesses, and nonprofits that provide food on disposable plates, cups bowls, etc. must use either recyclable or compostable (ASTM certified) products.
  2. Santa Cruz County. Local restaurants and other food service businesses must comply with heightened standards for the use of biodegradable and compostable materials.
  3. Californians Against Waste hosts a list of cities and counties with an expanded polystyrene ban for government facilities and/retail sale of products.
  4. On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 67, the Statewide Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban.

Space Allocation

  1. The Recycling Space Allocation Guide (3/93, CalRecycle Pub. #310-00-012) was developed to assist local agencies in developing recycling space allocation ordinances. It includes sample provisions of several ordinances passed or proposed by local agencies.
  2. As of January 1, 2017, CALGreen’s Construction Waste Management Requirements require newly constructed non-residential buildings, certain non-residential additions and multifamily housing with ≥ 5 units to provide readily accessible areas that serve the entire building and are identified for the depositing, storage and collection of non-hazardous materials for recycling, including (at minimum) paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, metals and organics.
  3. A CalRecycle letter was prepared to inform staff in local planning, building, and community development departments of the requirements for new buildings to have adequate space for recyclable and organics containers.

Sample Local Government Recycling Space Allocation Resources

For more information contact: Local Assistance & Market Development, LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov