Waste Reduction & Recycling Case Stories

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Sixty percent of landfill waste is generated by businesses. Promoting commercial recycling helps keep recyclable materials out of landfills. This conserves resources, extends the life of the landfill, saves businesses money and reduces the potential generation of methane, a greenhouse gas that is released from improperly managed landfills.

Each story includes lessons learned, links to additional resources and can serve as examples other agencies may consider and adapt to meet their communities’ unique circumstances.

These case stories were developed by ILG, with initial funding provided through a contract with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now known as CalRecycle).

Case Story

Adopting a Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance:
The Experience of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority and Its Member Jurisdictions

Anticipating a new state requirement for businesses to recycle and in alignment with its vision to reduce the amount of waste by promoting individual and corporate responsibility, the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority prepared a mandatory recycling ordinance for its six member agencies.

Case Story

Adopting a Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance:
The Experience of the City of San Carlos

In April 2010, the City of San Carlos adopted a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance that requires businesses and apartment complexes with five or more units that generate two cubic yards or more of trash a week to recycle.

Case Story

Commercial Recycling Education and Outreach Activities – Focus on Alameda County Waste Management Authority

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority/Source Reduction and Reduction Board, also known as StopWaste.Org, encourages businesses to recycle with technical assistance for waste prevention and recycling, targeted outreach and assistance to large businesses, online resources and assistance for smaller businesses, grants to businesses, and a high profile recognition program for businesses that recycle.

Case Story

City of Arcadia – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Arcadia requires its four franchised haulers to ensure that both business and residential customers recycle 50 percent of solid waste generated.

Case Story

City of Chula Vista – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Chula Vista’s active education and technical assistance program to promote business compliance complements the city’s mandatory recycling ordinance, thus making it easier for businesses to comply.

Case Story

City of Fresno – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Fresno’s mandatory commercial recycling ordinance requires all retail, office and multi-family businesses to utilize the city’s recycling services.

Case Story

City of Huntington Beach – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Huntington Beach promotes commercial recycling through a material recovery facility (MRF) operated by its exclusive solid waste hauler.

Case Story

City of Irvine – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Irvine encourages commercial recycling by charging haulers a reduced franchise fee for recyclable materials collected from businesses, compared to the franchise fee charged for solid waste collected.

Case Story

City of Kingsburg – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

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.

Case Story

Commercial Recycling Education and Outreach Activities – Focus on City of Kingsburg

Kingsburg works closely with its solid waste and recycling service provider that has an exclusive franchise to serve Kingsburg to educate businesses about how to comply with the city’s mandatory commercial recycling requirements.

Case Story

City of Loomis – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Loomis facilitates commercial recycling through an exclusive franchise agreement that requires the hauler to provide collection bins for cardboard recycling on request to local businesses at no charge.

Case Story

City of Ojai – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Ojai facilitates commercial recycling in a downtown redevelopment area through an assessment district that provides common area recycling services and storage bins for businesses that would otherwise lack convenient access to recycling opportunities.

Case Story

Creating a Successful Restaurant Food Scrap Recycling Program – Lessons Learned from the Eight City Regional Partnership Program in Orange County

In April 2010, in response to a planned landfill disposal fee increase, eight cities in Orange County, along with the cities’ solid waste service provider, began a pilot program to collect and transport restaurant food scraps to a composting facility.

Case Story

City of Poway – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Poway’s solid waste ordinance requires that commercial recycling services be provided by its exclusive solid waste franchisee.

Case Story

City and County of Sacramento – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

The Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority, under a joint powers agreement between the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County, has a business recycling ordinance that requires non-exclusive franchised haulers to provide – and businesses to subscribe to – recycling services.

Case Story

County of San Diego – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Unincorporated San Diego County’s mandatory recycling ordinance states “Mandatory recycling shall be in effect for all waste generated in unincorporated San Diego County.”

Case Story

Commercial Recycling Education and Outreach Activities – Focus on San Diego’s Multi-Family Community Program

The City of San Diego’s mandatory recycling ordinance (adopted in November 2007) requires businesses to recycle, including both large and small multi-family apartment.

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