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City of Kingsburg – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Case Story

Climate Action Connection: Commercial Recycling

Providing on-site recycling infrastructure, such as bins for multi-family complexes and green waste makes it easier for residents and businesses to recycle, thus reducing material sent to landfills and the potential generation of methane, a greenhouse gas.

Community:Kingsburg (Fresno County)

Population: 11,250

Summary

Kingsburg’s solid waste ordinance requires uniform recycling services for both residences and businesses and also requires that curbside recycling be provided and used by all customers.

Program Highlights

  • Exclusive franchise agreement requires recycling and green waste bins to be provided to all businesses, residences, and multi-family complexes.
  • Businesses can reduce waste collection costs by increased use of recycling bins, resulting in the need for smaller waste containers.
  • Indoor and outdoor recycling bins provided to multi-family units.
  • Hauler required to submit monthly reports on waste and recycling tonnages.

Lessons Learned

  • It’s important to put a lot of effort into educating businesses about recycling before launching a program.
  • The more convenient you make recycling, the more recycling happens.

Resources to Learn More

The Rest of the Story…

Kingsburg’s interest in recycling pre-dates AB 939, enacted in 1989. As early as the 1980s, local girl scouts picked up bags of newspaper left by the curb for recycling. The city first adopted a mandatory recycling ordinance in 1993. Since that time, recycling services have been uniformly required for all residences and businesses.

Although Kingsburg is a small city, it has approximately 100 businesses, including several large chain retailers that generate substantial waste. An active education and waste audit program, along with strict monitoring of its exclusive hauler, has resulted in a nearly 70 percent citywide diversion rate.

Special Encouragement for Multi-Family Complexes

Two large multi-family complexes are located in Kingsburg. To make recycling convenient and accessible, renters are given five- and 10-gallon bins to source separate recyclables inside their apartments. The complexes may contract for 48- or 96-gallon recycling bins that are placed throughout the complexes for easy accessibility by tenants. These take the place of large roll-off recycling bins that are otherwise located at a few locations in the complex.

Enforcement and Compliance

Businesses in Kingsburg are required to separate recyclables and green waste into separate recycling and green waste bins. To encourage active recycling, the city offers smaller waste disposal bins at lower prices, made possible with greater use of recycling containers. Businesses can use either 48-gallon or 96-gallon recycling containers or larger recycling dumpsters, depending on their needs.

Any new business is informed of the city’s recycling requirement at the time the waste collection account is opened. Waste audits are conducted when either the hauler or someone from the city notices a business could improve its recycling rate or when a business requests an audit.

The hauler must submit monthly reports on waste and recycling tonnage to verify the level of recycling taking place. In addition, the city inspects the hauler’s facilities every six months to review the quantities of and procedures for recycling materials.

 

Compiled May 2009

This case story was prepared in partnership with the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
 

 

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