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

Case Story

Climate Action Connection: Commercial Recycling

Solid waste and recycling infrastructure that incorporates material recovery facilities and source separation promote recycling and reduce solid waste in landfills, thus reducing potential greenhouse gas emissions.

Community:Huntington Beach (Orange County)

Population: 202,000


Huntington Beach promotes commercial recycling through a material recovery facility (MRF) operated by its exclusive solid waste hauler. The hauler also provides city businesses free recycling bins for cardboard and paper, thus increasing recycling and reducing waste collection costs for generators.

Program Highlights

  • Businesses put all waste in single bin for collection and delivery to a MRF, where recyclables are sorted from waste.
  • Businesses can reduce monthly waste collection charges by source separating cardboard and paper, using the free bins provided by hauler.

Lessons Learned

  • Providing free bins to encourage source separation of cardboard and paper can increase recycling rates at MRF and reduce costs to generators.

Resources to Learn More

The Rest of the Story…

Huntington Beach has worked with the same exclusive franchisee for over 50 years. The company provides both residential and commercial services and collects recyclables from both residences and businesses. Starting in 2007, residential customers received three bins for separation of green waste and recyclables, as well as trash, and the materials are brought to a material recovery facility.

The city and hauler determined that a three-bin system would not be effective for the large commercial and multi-family sector. Instead, a different MRF handles the single stream of waste and recyclables generated by businesses and the multi-family sector.

Free Bins for Paper and Cardboard for Commercial Customers

The hauler has recently introduced free bins for businesses to separate paper and cardboard. By taking advantage of these bins, businesses can reduce their weekly or volume rate of service and thus their costs. The amount of recycling at the MRF also increases.

Compiled May 2009

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



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