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City of Arcadia – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Case Story

Community:  Arcadia (Los Angeles County)

Population: 56,500


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

Program Highlights

  • Haulers must provide recycling bins and services to both residential and commercial customers.
  • Haulers must report monthly tonnages, receivables and diversion rate.
  • Haulers are responsible for educating businesses about recycling.

Lessons Learned

  • Understanding how to best work with ethnic business owners to promote recycling is an important key to success.

Resources to Learn More

  • View a PDF of the Arcadia Ordinances Related to Commercial Waste Hauling at right under “Documents & Resources.”

The Rest of the Story…

Arcadia has a long standing ordinance requiring the city’s four permitted solid waste haulers to provide recycling bins and services to both residential and commercial customers. The haulers are required to have a business license in Arcadia. Within 90 days of receiving the business license, the haulers must submit to the city a strategy plan for meeting and exceeding the city’s 50 percent diversion goal. Arcadia’s ordinance limits the number of haulers that may operate in the city.

While the city’s residential sector has achieved a 70 percent diversion rate, the diversion rate for the city’s 4,132 businesses has been just above 50 percent, but still within the target set for haulers by the city’s ordinance.


Once haulers are authorized to collect waste from commercial generators, they must submit monthly reports detailing the total tonnage of solid waste disposed, the total number of accounts served, and the total gross receipts for the month. In addition, each hauler must calculate its annual diversion rate. City staff monitors the monthly reports and diversion rates to ensure compliance by the haulers.

The city’s ordinance requires the haulers to provide recycling services, furnish recycling bins and work with businesses to ensure the business recycles. The rates charged for collection services are determined by the haulers. Businesses select which hauler to use, thereby creating competition between haulers for business accounts.

Business are typically provide two three-yard bins, one for general waste and one for recyclables, which are taken to a Material Recovery Facility. The program does not include food or green waste.

Compiled May 2009

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


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