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City of Loomis – Commercial Recycling Program to Address Climate Change

Case Story

Climate Action Connection: Commercial Recycling

Small programs like this one that provides an incentive for additional cardboard recycling contributes to reducing greenhouse emissions. 

Community:Loomis (Placer County)

Population: 6,625


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. All other waste and recyclables are collected in single stream system and sent to material recovery facility (MRF) for processing.

Program Highlights

  • Hauler required to provide businesses with free bins for onsite cardboard collection, which facilitates additional recycling.
  • Remaining waste and recyclables sent to a MRF for separation and processing.
  • Tiered fee structure stimulates recycling.

Lessons Learned

  • Targeting recycling opportunities to individual business types can be effective.

Resources to Learn More

The Rest of the Story…

Loomis has had an exclusive franchise agreement for waste collection for the past 30 years. All waste from both residences and businesses in Loomis is collected into a single stream system and sent to a material recovery facility (MRF) where the recyclables are separated, with the remaining waste sent to a landfill.

About 10 years ago, the hauler suggested to the city that separate collection bins for cardboard, the largest single item generated by businesses, could encourage and facilitate additional cardboard recycling. The franchise agreement between the city and hauler now specifies that free bins for cardboard recycling must be provided to businesses at their request.

Tiered Fee Structure Promotes Recycling

Businesses that request a free cardboard collection container can save substantially on their waste bill. This is especially true for businesses like grocery stores and fast food restaurants that often generate more cardboard than any other waste.

For example, the cost for a three-yard general waste bin is $208 per month, with weekly pickup. If the customer instead uses a one-yard waste bin, the monthly cost is $82, with weekly pickup. For many local businesses this reduction is possible by source separating cardboard and using the free bins provided.

Of the 211 businesses in Loomis, 49 have taken advantage of the free cardboard recycling bins. These businesses, mostly grocery stores and restaurants, collectively generated 158 tons of cardboard waste for recycling in 2008.

Other Opportunities for Smaller Businesses

Businesses and residents also may drop-off cardboard and newspapers at a local grocery store. For small businesses that do not generate enough waste to make it feasible to use a smaller waste bin in tandem with a card board bin, this centralized service has proven effective. Significant amounts of cardboard and newspaper are being dropped off at the centralized collection site.


Compiled May 2009

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



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