How does a jurisdiction determine the amount of solid waste a business generates? Is it what the business subscribes to (a four cubic yard solid waste bin), even if it only fills the bin half full?

The determination of whether a business meets the four cubic yard threshold is based upon the level of service to which the business subscribes and not if they fill the bin every week. For example, a business would meet the threshold if they subscribe to having one four cubic yard refuse container picked up each week, or, conversely, a single one cubic yard refuse container serviced four times per week, etc.

The regulation also distinguishes between recyclable materials that already are separated prior to any solid waste being discarded, versus potentially recyclable materials that are not separated and instead are included in the solid waste being discarded (within this definition the term “generates” refers to commercial solid waste produced and disposed, excluding previously separated recyclable materials, and not the amount of solid waste diverted plus the amount of solid waste disposed). For example, if a business has refuse service for a 3 cubic yard bin serviced once per week and also has a 2 cubic yard recycling bin serviced once per week, this business would be generating less than 4 cubic yards of trash per week and would not meet the threshold that would require it to recycle under the regulation (Note: In this scenario the business is also already recycling).

Requiring the threshold to only include solid waste should make it easier for a jurisdiction to determine which businesses are required to comply with the regulation. A jurisdiction does not have to conduct a waste generation study to determine if four cubic yards of commercial solid waste or more is generated; instead, a jurisdiction can, for example, review waste subscription service.

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1. Will my city/county need to adopt a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance?
2. What are the jurisdiction’s requirements in terms of providing education, outreach, and monitoring to businesses?
3. Would a jurisdiction be able to phase in education, outreach, and monitoring efforts or do jurisdictions need to ensure that efforts to address all businesses in the jurisdiction are already in place?
4. If a jurisdiction opts to phase-in education, outreach and/or monitoring, what would be an acceptable timeline for the phase-in period?
5. Is there a rural exemption in the current regulatory language? What are the general provisions that may be or are available to rural jurisdictions under the proposed regulation?
6. Do we need to have a franchise agreement for recycling collection services to comply with the regulation?
7. Will existing franchises need to be amended to comply with this regulation?
8. Under the proposed regulation, would these businesses be required to subscribe to the recycling service?
9. My hauler has indicated that it will need a significant rate increase to comply with the regulation. What additional requirements will be placed on the hauler that would result in cost increases?
10. Will there be any financial assistance available to help offset the costs associated with implementing the regulations?
11. Is there anything in the regulatory language that includes a stipulation that the jurisdiction would be required to provide a curbside program?
12. We have found residential and commercial recycling programs can be incongruent. How or will the rule-making process address these issues?
13. Do we need to develop a specific type of program (e.g., commercial food waste collection, on-site recycling collection, construction and demolition debris recycling) to comply with the regulations?
14. Do the regulations change the provisions of transformation as provided for in Public Resources Code section 41783?
15. How does a jurisdiction determine the amount of solid waste a business generates? Is it what the business subscribes to (a four cubic yard solid waste bin), even if it only fills the bin half full?
16. How should a jurisdiction determine the businesses that are subject to the legislation and regulations?
17. Are there any exemptions for temporary waste generating activities, such as filming locations, special events, seasonal store sites, etc.?
18. Can you clarify what is meant by authorizing a local agency to charge and collect a fee from a commercial waste generator to recover the local agency’s costs incurred in complying with requirements?
19. Is a webpage with information about the mandatory commercial recycling requirement enough?
20. How frequently should outreach information be provided to businesses?
21. I have been unsuccessful in the past in making contact with the commercial sector. Are there any recommendations for making contact with businesses?
22. How should a jurisdiction handle businesses that are resistant in providing information on self-hauling and other recycling activities not provided by the jurisdiction’s franchised/permitted hauler?