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Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law

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Office buildingState of California Assembly Bill 341

AB 341 requires commercial recycling in California as of July 1, 2012. Businesses or public organizations that have a service of 4 cubic yards or more of solid waste per week must recycle. Multi-family buildings of 5 units or more must also recycle. The Torrance Municipal Code requires 3 and 4 units buildings to recycle as well.

Frequently Asked Questions for AB 341

What are the benefits of this law?

  1. The more recyclable materials a business can divert
    from its trash, the greater the potential savings and/or reduction in costs (i.e., monthly trash bill).
  2. Recycling can help reduce emissions of methane, air toxins, and other pollutants from landfills.
  3. Recycling frees up space in landfills that have a limited capacity and saves natural resources.
  4. The more businesses and residents recycle, the greater the ability for the City of Torrance to meet its mandated diversion goals.

Who is required to recycle?

  1. Businesses, business complexes, and public entities that have the capacity to create 4
    cubic yards or more of solid waste per week.
  2. Owners/managers of a multi-family dwelling of 3 units or more.

Who can I contact for recycling services, and what materials will they take for recycling?

Owners and managers of affected properties can contact a permitted hauler to subscribe to recycling services. The types of materials you can recycle may depend on what recyclable items you have and what the permitted hauler accepts. Contact a permitted hauler for more details. If you have specialized materials for recycling, Visit LA County Public Works Smart Business Recycling to search site for recyclers of a variety of materials.

You can deliver materials to recycling facilities yourself. Here are links to search engines or recycling facilities in our area:

What steps are required to comply?

  1. Separating your recyclable material from your trash and taking them to a recycling center or subscribing to a service for the collection of recyclables by a permitted hauler or recycler. 
  2. Subscribing for service with a permitted hauler who collects all your waste together and then separates the recyclables from the trash at a different site. 

What if I am a business that has occasional special events that generate large amounts of waste? Am I subject to the mandatory commercial recycling?

During the time period that your site generates and subscribes to a weekly service of 4 cubic yards of solid waste, the business will need to recycle.

How do I know if I have the capacity to collect 4 cubic yards or more a week?

If your property has bins that provide an equivalent capacity, you are required to recycle (i.e., if you have a 3 cubic yard bin, and it is picked up twice a week, then you are required to recycle). Check your current trash hauling bill or call your hauler if you are not sure of your bin size.

Why was Assembly Bill 341 signed into law?

  1. To reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by diverting commercial solid waste through recycling efforts, and to expand the opportunity for additional recycling services and recycling manufacturing facilities in California.
  2. To reduce methane emissions at landfills from the decomposition of organic materials.
  3. To meet the statewide goal of 75% solid waste diversion by 2020.
  4. According to 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization data, the commercial sector generates nearly three-fourths of the solid waste in California. Most of the commercial sector waste disposed of in landfills is recyclable.

When does this law take effect?

All affected properties are required to start recycling by July 1, 2012. However, enforcement will follow at a later date.

Who can I contact for more information?

City of Torrance Public Works at 310-781-6900.

Business Resources and Links

The Commercial Climate Calculator

The Commercial Climate Calculator helps your business and/or multi-family complex identify
the benefits of reducing trash and increasing recycling and composting. Your business will:

  • Save money
  • Reduce its contribution to climate change
  • Keep valuable material out of landfills

For more information on Mandatory Commercial Recycling (AB341), please see the California Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle) or their FAQ.

For information on reducing waste and recycling at businesses:

Basic recycling information for Torrance businesses and multi-family homes

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