Commercial Recycling

The commercial sector produces nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California and much of this material is recyclable. Commercial recycling diverts waste from landfills and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reuse of recycled materials can reduce the GHG emissions from multiple phases of product production, including extraction of raw materials, preprocessing and manufacturing. Recycling of organic materials can also reduce methane emissions at landfills caused by the decomposition of organic materials. Therefore, increasing the recovery of recyclable materials will directly reduce GHG emissions.   

Key Elements of California's Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law

Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011 (Chesbro, AB 341) sets forth the requirements of the statewide mandatory commercial recycling program.

Purpose of the Law

To reduce GHG emissions by diverting commercial solid waste to recycling efforts and to expand the opportunity for additional recycling services and recycling manufacturing facilities in California.

Commercial Recycling Requirements

A business that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services. The standard size trash dumpster is three cubic yards. Fountain Valley businesses can choose one, or any combination, of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:

  • Self-haul to a recycling facility. Under this option, the business shall maintain records of its recycling efforts sufficient to verify to the City that the business is in compliance with the recycling requirements.
  • Implement a recycling program through Rainbow Environmental Services.
  • Continue with their current waste disposal procedures through Rainbow Environmental Services. Rainbow currently processes waste at their facility for removal of recyclable material which provides compliance with the commercial recycling requirements.
A property owner of a commercial business or multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.

Recycling Benefits

Commercial recycling provides numerous benefits, which include:
  • Enabling businesses and multifamily complexes to save money on waste disposal.
  • Creating jobs by providing materials for recycling manufacturing facilities.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Keeping valuable materials out of landfills.
  • Promoting a healthy environment for the community and future generations by recovering natural resources.