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No. Some communities may choose to adopt a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance; however, an ordinance is not required. Approaches to enforcement might include: 1) requiring businesses to participate in the recycling services that are already available in the city or county, 2) requiring businesses to use a mixed waste processing facility, or 3) implementing a mandatory commercial recycling program using an ordinance.
A number of communities, such as Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, and Chula Vista, have implemented a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance. Please visit the Institute for Local Government’s commercial recycling website to view sample ordinances, case studies, and sample outreach, education, and enforcement examples and review information provided by a number of jurisdictions that have implemented mandatory commercial recycling programs.
The regulation requires jurisdictions to implement education, outreach, and monitoring programs to inform businesses of the state requirement to recycle and how they can recycle in the jurisdiction. Jurisdictions should choose methods to provide education and outreach that maximize existing resources including using existing websites, brochures, on-site meetings, etc. For example, if the hauler already sends out a sales representative to work with businesses that are not recycling, then the hauler’s sales representative could inform the business of the state requirement, and then assist the business in determining the best approach to recycle. Other options include using the jurisdiction’s own staff, community groups, or independent recyclers to inform the businesses of the state requirement and how the businesses can recycle in the jurisdiction. If the jurisdiction already sends out letters to businesses regarding recycling opportunities, the letter could include information about the state requirement.
The requirement for jurisdictions to monitor means identifying and notifying businesses that are not recycling and informing them about the state law and the various ways that they could recycle. The methods for monitoring can differ greatly depending upon a jurisdiction’s resources, hauler arrangement, etc. Some jurisdictions may choose to phase in monitoring by targeting the largest businesses the first year and bringing in other businesses in subsequent years. The jurisdiction may choose to utilize the hauler to monitor and notify businesses that are not recycling. The jurisdiction’s Local Assistance and Market Development representative can help assess if the monitoring approach seems reasonable.
CalRecycle also recommends that jurisdictions view the Institute for Local Government webinar titled Understanding California’s Proposed Commercial Recycling Regulations: What Local Agencies Need to Know About the Education, Outreach and Monitoring Requirements. This webinar, the fifth in a series, helps local officials understand the proposed new regulation, emphasizing what they need to do to be in compliance with the education, outreach and monitoring requirements. The webinar also includes information about new tools available to help local agencies meet these challenges.
Yes, the jurisdiction can phase in education, outreach, and monitoring efforts. For example, a jurisdiction may want to educate and monitor in the first year the multi-family complexes that have 16 units or greater because, by law, they have an on-site manager available to coordinate with.
Jurisdictions also have the flexibility to decide how they develop and implement education and outreach. For example, if multi-family complexes have owners that are located in other areas of the state or live outside California, then the jurisdiction might take various approaches to contacting the owner to inform them of the state requirement to recycle at the complex, such as sending a letter, including information on the solid waste bill, etc.
Another approach in larger jurisdictions might be to target the largest businesses - say the 20% largest businesses based upon the amount of solid waste that they dispose - and then the next year move to the next largest group of businesses, and so on. The jurisdiction should communicate with its Local Assistance and Market Development representative to discuss the jurisdiction’s plans for a reasonable time period to phase in its program.
The timeline for phasing in education, outreach, and/or monitoring efforts would be determined on a case by case basis in discussion with the jurisdiction’s Local Assistance and Market Development representative.
No, neither AB 341 nor the proposed regulation includes a rural exemption. The regulation is designed to provide flexibility to jurisdictions to design programs that fit their needs. The proposed regulation in Section 18838 does state that CalRecycle may consider factors for rural jurisdictions in its evaluation of a jurisdiction’s good-faith effort to implement diversion programs. Factors for rural jurisdictions include small geographic size, low population density, and/or distance to markets. The Initial Statement of Reasons also provides guidance to rural jurisdictions on commercial recycling education, outreach, and monitoring programs.
In terms of providing education and outreach, rural jurisdictions could include information (i.e., about the state requirement for businesses to recycle and how businesses can recycle in the rural jurisdiction) using an annual letter to businesses for business license renewals. For jurisdictions that do not have staff and/or a hauler to ascertain which businesses are not recycling, then an annual letter would suffice. The letter could be sent electronically or by hard copy depending upon the rural jurisdiction’s situation.
No, a franchise agreement is not required to comply with the regulation.
It will be up to the local jurisdiction to make such a determination. For example, jurisdictions may find that the education, outreach, and/or monitoring programs in their current contracts can meet their needs. Thus, jurisdictions may not need to amend the franchise agreement.
The proposed regulation provides flexibility to businesses and requires that businesses choose one or any combination of the following activities:
If a jurisdiction has additional specific requirements for businesses, they would inform the businesses of those requirements.
The regulations are not directed towards haulers. Businesses are required to recycle, and jurisdictions are required to provide education, outreach, and monitoring to the businesses. Jurisdictions will determine how best to implement their education, outreach, and monitoring programs and whether they must place additional requirements upon the haulers and/or businesses in order to comply with the regulations. The proposed regulations provide flexibility and do not dictate how a jurisdiction must implement a program.
There is some limited financial assistance available through CalRecycle. This financial assistance includes existing grant programs, such as CalRecycle’s City/County Beverage Container Block Grant and the Beverage Container Recycling Grants (Competitive) programs, to assist with offsetting costs for implementing recycling programs that include diversion of beverage containers.
Additionally, the regulations allow for phased-in implementation to help in reducing costs. Thus, if the jurisdiction and hauler find that there are a large number of businesses that are not currently recycling, the jurisdiction and hauler could target a certain number of businesses and bring them into the program using a phased-in approach.
No, a curbside program is not required. Jurisdictions are not required to provide any specified type of commercial collection program. Section 18837 of the draft regulations requires jurisdictions to provide education, outreach, and monitoring to affected businesses to inform them of the state requirement to recycle and to tell businesses how they can recycle in the jurisdiction.
Regarding informing and educating businesses about recycling opportunities in the jurisdiction, the types and combinations of commercial recycling programs vary by jurisdiction and can include curbside collection, drop-offs, and utilizing mixed waste processing. Additionally, businesses may choose to self-haul material to a drop-off or recycling center, back-haul recyclables to a distribution center, arrange for the pick-up of recyclables, etc.
The regulation is focused on diverting the recyclable material disposed of by the business or at the business location. However, jurisdictions may want to consider current programs in place that serve residents and interface with commercial waste.
There is a nexus between the material generated at business locations, for example product packaging, carry out bags and take out boxes, that may become waste at another business location (i.e., place of work) or at the customer’s residence. An opportunity may exist in the development of education and outreach methodologies, depending on existing infrastructure and resources, to assist customers in making better decisions about managing materials that leave a business location.
Jurisdictions are required to conduct education, outreach, and monitoring programs to inform businesses of the state requirement to recycle and provide information about the recycling opportunities that are available within the jurisdiction. However, a jurisdiction does not need to implement a specific type of collection program to comply with these requirements.
The proposed regulations do not require specific programs, how much must be recycled, or what type of materials must be recycled by businesses. The regulations also do not limit the types of materials that could be included in a recycling program. By not specifying which materials must be recycled, jurisdictions, businesses, and service providers have greater flexibility in determining the most cost-effective approach(es) to commercial recycling.
Subsection (e)(3) of the proposed regulations clarifies that the provisions of Public Resources Code section 41783 are not affected by this regulation. Commercial solid waste may be taken to a transformation facility, as long as the existing requirement in Public Resources Code section 41783 for front-end processing to remove recyclable materials to the maximum extent feasible is met.
For example, front-end processing includes source-separating recyclables or processing material at a mixed waste processing facility. The subsection clarifies that there is no change to the existing provisions of section 41783 of the Public Resources Code related to transformation that allow jurisdictions to reduce their per-capita disposal rate by no more than 10%.
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.
Jurisdictions can utilize hauler records to determine which businesses dispose of four cubic yards or more of solid waste per week. Some jurisdictions, for example those in rural areas, might find it challenging to determine which businesses generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, so they may choose to provide education and outreach to all of the businesses in the community and inform them of the state requirement. In large jurisdictions, or ones serviced by multiple haulers, a more customized approach may be necessary. Local Assistance and Market Development staff can assist in developing a strategy for identifying businesses subject to the regulations.
There are no exemptions for temporary activities such as filming locations, special events, seasonal store sites, etc. Businesses engaged in temporary activities such as these should contact the local jurisdiction to determine how best to proceed with diverting recyclables.
Temporary waste-generating activities may already be tracked by the jurisdiction. Special event licenses and filming permits, for example, may be required for operations of this type. Temporary retail sites may also be tracked through the jurisdiction’s Business License or Tax Collection office. The jurisdiction contact(s) tasked with implementing education, outreach, and monitoring efforts in relation to the mandatory commercial recycling program can work with other departments to determine the best way to provide education and outreach to temporary commercial waste generators, including identifying recycling opportunities, and monitoring the results of these efforts.
It should be noted that some temporary uses, such as filming locations, may currently have contracts to handle their recyclable material through the permanent studio site. Additional guidance regarding recycling at special events and location film shooting can be found on the CalRecycle website.
AB 341’s fee provision is separate from authorization for jurisdictions to charge a fee for implementing its recycling programs under The Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989 [Sher, AB 939]). AB 341 provides that if a jurisdiction already has a commercial recycling program in place that meets the education, outreach, and monitoring requirements, it is not required to implement an additional program. If, however, the jurisdiction needs to implement a new commercial recycling program in order to comply with AB 341, then it is authorized to charge a new program fee to cover the costs of the new program.
Similarly, if a jurisdiction has to make additions to an existing commercial recycling program in order to comply with the mandatory recycling regulations, it is authorized to charge a program fee for the costs of implementing the additional program features. In such as instance, depending on the nature and extent of the additional features, it may be advisable for a jurisdiction to create a new program and charge a fee for the implementation costs.
For additional guidance on when this would be the most feasible cause of action, please contact your Local Assistance and Market Development (LAMD) representative.
The jurisdiction should demonstrate a real effort to develop and implement an effective outreach program. Information should be placed on the jurisdiction’s website (and the franchise hauler’s website, if applicable) that informs businesses of the state requirement to recycle and explains how businesses can recycle in the jurisdiction. For example, information placed on the website might include contact information for the franchise hauler for service information, locations to self‐haul recyclables to, recyclers that will collect specific materials, information about mixed waste processing options versus source separated recycling options, etc.
In addition to a webpage, the jurisdiction may consider sending out emails to its business listings. Some jurisdictions are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets to communicate with businesses. A jurisdiction might also collaborate with local business organizations to help send out emails to their members, place information in their newsletters, or place information on their websites. The California Chamber of Commerce has also offered to assist CalRecycle inform businesses by utilizing its electronic Alert Newsletter.
For any type of outreach methodology, the jurisdiction will need to assess the tool(s) needed to convey the message to businesses and reach the businesses in their communities. As part of the Electronic Annual Report review, CalRecycle will be looking to make sure the education, outreach, and monitoring programs are being implemented, but also taking into account the jurisdiction’s specific circumstances.
The jurisdiction has the flexibility to determine the frequency that outreach should be provided based upon what will work best for the jurisdiction. Providing outreach once per year would be typical. The jurisdiction should communicate with its Local Assistance and Market Development representative about the jurisdiction’s outreach plans to allow staff the opportunity to provide early guidance on whether the approach seems reasonable.
Some examples of outreach include utilizing existing print pieces and, when updating an existing brochure, letter, or newsletter that is sent out to businesses, adding information about the state requirement to recycle and the recycling opportunities available to recycle in the jurisdiction. Print information could be sent annually to account for turnover, etc., but it could be done more frequently or less frequently depending on what works best for the jurisdiction.
If information is already sent out annually to businesses, then information about the state requirement for businesses to recycle could be incorporated. Or, if a jurisdiction’s budget does not allow for sending out a printed material to all businesses annually, then perhaps a phased-in approach would work better. For example, a certain number of printed materials can be sent to a specified group of businesses each year, or a jurisdiction may find that it is most effective to provide a brochure on site visits, etc.
Rural jurisdictions might include information in the annual letter to businesses for business license renewals about the state requirement for businesses to recycle and how businesses can recycle in the rural jurisdiction (e.g., drop-off programs, on-site collection, etc.). The jurisdiction may also choose to coordinate with the local Chamber of Commerce and Apartment Associations to assist in disseminating information. The Institute for Local Government has developed sample brochures and outreach materials for jurisdictions to use.
Direct contact with the business community will ensure that the businesses are informed of the requirement to recycle. CalRecycle encourages jurisdictions to include information about the state requirement to recycle as part of any of the activities where the jurisdiction, hauler(s), and/or community organizations make direct contact with businesses.
Examples of direct contact include:
Always provide a contact person that businesses can call to ask follow‐up questions. Community groups such as Heal the Bay and others may be able to assist with making direct contact with businesses. Community groups frequently engage in outreach to small businesses. They might be able to contact businesses in a particular area and meet one on one with businesses to explain how they can recycle in the community and inform the businesses of the state requirement to recycle.
The jurisdiction’s hauler or haulers may already contact businesses directly through their sales staff or staff that conduct waste assessments for businesses. The hauler can also assist to inform the businesses that are not currently recycling about the state requirement to recycle and explain how they can recycle. The hauler can then report back to the jurisdiction on those businesses that are not currently recycling. In some jurisdictions the hauler may already be providing this type of information to the jurisdiction.
Another approach is to determine if the jurisdiction’s staff may already be working with businesses and can provide information to businesses on the state requirement to recycle. For example, some communities may utilize their health and/or building inspectors to inform businesses as they are working with them on inspecting an establishment, or the local recycling coordinator may conduct waste assessments and can include information about the state requirement to recycle.
If a jurisdiction is having difficulty collecting information from businesses, the jurisdiction could develop requirements for businesses that self-haul such as requiring these businesses to complete and retain at their place of business a form certifying that they are recycling.
Some businesses already track this information to demonstrate compliance with internal environmental procedures or as part of other state programs.