Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

New law requires commercial recycling in California

A cook drops fish skin and fat into a recycling container at MoMo's restaurant in San Francisco, California.
A cook drops fish skin and fat into a recycling container at MoMo's restaurant in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Among the almost two dozen new laws that went into effect as of July 1 includes AB 341, which will require about 470,000 businesses and apartment buildings to recycle. As reported by the Huffington Post, the law affects any business that produces at least four cubic yards of waste per week and all multi-resident apartment buildings of at least five units, with a goal of 75 percent disposal reduction by 2020. According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, about 20 percent of California’s 1.3 million businesses will fall under this new jurisdiction, which account for 75 percent of the commercial waste in the entire state.

“While California leads the nation in solid waste diversion, businesses and property owners are being encouraged to be more proactive in doing their part to increase those diversion rates,” said Mike Smith, director of operations for Waste Management of Ventura County in the Ventura County Star. “Increasing recycling means more material will be kept away from local landfills as we help to conserve earth’s natural resources.”

Waste Management will be working with businesses and apartment buildings throughout Southern California to help them reach these new recycling goals, offering a set of tips to help newbies get started. They range from identifying a “recycling champion” who will coordinate efforts to establishing a compost system.

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