State & Local Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law
California’s Commercial Recycling Bill AB 341, effective July 1st, 2012 sets a recycling goal of 75% diversion by the year 2020. This bill is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting recyclable materials and to expand the opportunity for increased economic activity and green industry job creation.
AB 341 and the County of San Diego Solid Waste Ordinance require that businesses and public entities (such as schools and government agencies) that have trash service levels of four cubic yards or greater or multi-family units with four or more units shall arrange for recycling service. You may also donate or sell your recyclable material, however if you do not use a county approved franchise hauler for recycling service, you must provide the County with proof that you are participating in a recycling program. Please contact the Recycling Section at 858-694-2468 for details. County of San Diego Solid Waste Ordinance (Section 68.571) requires that residents and businesses shall only place designated recyclables in a recycling container and keep them separate from trash.
Noncompliance is subject to an Administrative Citation with escalating penalties.
Printable version of recyclable materials sign.
The County of San Diego offers technical assistance and on a case-by-case basis promotional materials to unincorporated county area businesses at no cost. To learn about recycling at your business, click here.
The Commercial Climate Calculator is designed for a business or multifamily complex to assess the financial, climate change, and waste reduction/environmental benefits of reducing and recycling their discarded materials. In doing so, businesses can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep reusable and recyclable material out of landfills. Recycling may also reduce trash disposal costs.
Free Recycling Container from the California Department of Conservation (DOC)
DOC is currently offering a free recycling starter kit, which includes a recycling container delivered to your address (limit 1 per address), more details here. Funds for this program come from unredeemed CRV deposits on bottles and cans.
Hospitality Businesses are eligible for free recycling bins, stickers, posters, and technical assistance for their recycling program. Learn more about recycling at your business here. Please contact Eric Wolff at Eric.Wolff@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 694- 2468 for more information.
Oil recycling services
Grants are available to support the collection and recycling of used motor oil and filters. If your business is interested in offering free collection to the public, you may eligible for free equipment and reimbursement of related costs. Contact Jen.Winfrey@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 694-2463 for more information.
A private-public partnership is helping San Diego’s growers recycle more farm and ranch materials, beginning with motor oil and plastic chemical containers. If your business is interested in serving as an agricultural oil collection site, you may qualify for free equipment and reimbursement of related costs. Contact Jen.Winfrey@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 694-2463 for more information
Commercial collection services
Private recycling and franchised waste companies provide curbside recycling and trash collection services throughout the unincorporated area. For a list of service providers for your area, click here for franchised waste haulers, and click here for recycling haulers.
Special Events Recycling
If you are holding a large event in the unincorporated County of San Diego, recycling bins will be provided free of charge, as available. Please call (858) 694-2458 to arrange for recycling bins to be delivered to your event.
Does your business make products made from recycled materials?
The Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) program offers low-interest loans, marketing and permit assistance to businesses that are located in designated areas of the County. RMDZ’s are located in North and South San Diego County. Learn more at here or call (858) 694-2465.