Business recycling

Trash Talk

Judy Linda-HornApril 3, 2013 

On Oct. 6, 2011 a new law passed that requires Commercial Recycling in the State of California to reduce solid waste and save natural resources.

AB341 does five things:

1. Sets a state wide 75% waste diversion goal.

2. Requires mandatory commercial recycling by certain businesses and public entities.

3. Modifies the process of amending non-disposal facility elements.

4. Changes the due date of state agency reports.

5. Modifies enforcement agency notification requirements for modification to a solid waste facility permit.

What does all this mean? For one, the new law requires all multifamily units to provide recycling for the apartment residents. If you live in an apartment, you have the right to expect a recycling container at the site of the trash container. Does your landlord provide recycling? If not, you can ask for it. To date, Madera County is asking for voluntary compliance.

AB 341 also requires businesses in the community to sort and recycle plastic, cardboard, glass and metals. How many businesses in the Oakhurst, Coarsegold and North Fork communities are in compliance? If you go into a business and they do not provide recycling, you can ask "why not?" Again, Madera County is asking for voluntary compliance from businesses. It may take some influence from the community to obtain compliance.

Large grocery stores and retail outlets to mom and pop small businesses are required to comply with AB341. Let's do our part to assist the process. Be courteous when inquiring about AB341. Be complimentary if you see a business with a recycling option.

With all our energy, and voices, we can change our community. We can reduce, reuse and recycle.

The following are excerpts from AB341:

The owner or operator of a business that contracts for solid waste services and generates more than four cubic yards of total solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services.

A commercial waste generator shall take either of the following actions:

1. Separate specified recyclable materials from solid waste and subscribe to a basic level of recycling service that includes the collection of those recyclable materials or specific provisions for authorized self-hauling.

2. Subscribe to an alternative type of recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.

Each jurisdiction shall implement a commercial solid waste recycling program appropriate for that jurisdiction designed to divert solid waste from businesses.

If a jurisdiction already has a commercial solid waste recycling program as one of its diversion elements that meets the requirements of this section, it shall not be required to implement a new or expanded commercial solid waste recycling program.

The commercial solid waste recycling program shall be directed at a commercial waste generator, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 42649.1, and may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Implementing a mandatory commercial solid waste recycling policy or ordinance.

(2) Requiring a mandatory commercial solid waste recycling program through a franchise contract or agreement.

(3) Requiring all commercial solid waste to go through a mixed processing system that diverts material from disposal.

(d) The commercial solid waste recycling program shall include education and outreach to businesses.

(e) The commercial solid waste recycling program may include enforcement and monitoring provisions.

Information source:

For information or to become a supporting member of Keep Our Mountain Beautiful, call (559) 877-2361.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service