Commercial Business Recycling

AB 341 – Mandatory Commercial Recycling

Conserving our natural resources is essential for the health and well-being of our community and our planet. In keeping with this sentiment, beginning July 1, 2012, the State of California has made business recycling mandatory. As of July 1, 2012, recycling is mandated at all commercial businesses that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of trash per week, and all multi-family residential properties with five (5) units or more. Along with the recycling mandates, the legislation also raises the State diversion of waste from the landfill goal to 75% by 2020.

Working with E. J. Harrison and Sons, we have offered help to any business or multi-family residence that wishes to improve their waste diversion and recycling efforts with waste assessments, presentations, literature, posters and other materials. We have already received positive response from properties that want to do more than just have a recycling container on site. Options for recycling yard and food waste can also be discussed during free waste assessments.

Here are a few things you can do to assure your business is in compliance with this state law:
  1. Make sure all employees are aware of what materials can be recycled. The City of Ventura and E.J. Harrison & Sons have free fliers and posters available. 
  2. Make sure you have adequate containers within your business to separate trash and recyclables. Make it convenient. Always put the trash and recycling containers next to each other. 
  3. If you are a Unicycle customer (you will have one dumpster that has a Unicycle sign on the front), make sure everyone knows that trash must be securely bagged and that recycling is placed in loose (un-bagged) in the bin. 
  4. Work with custodial staff to be sure that recyclables separated inside your business are actually going into your outside recycling bin. 
  5. For multi-family units, property managers should inform tenants of what materials can be recycled. Keep all recyclables out of the trash bin; trash does not get sorted so anything that goes in the trash bin will end up in the landfill!
  6. Keep all recyclables out of the trash bin; trash does not get sorted so anything that goes in the trash bin will end up in the landfill!

Although most businesses and multi-family properties in Ventura already have some recycling, the Environmental Sustainability Division has found that the level of recycling and the knowledge of what is recyclable in our area may not always be ideal. There is sometimes a misconception that E. J. Harrison, our franchised hauler, will recover any recyclables from the trash. That is not true. If a recyclable item is put into the trash, it will go to the landfill where it will be buried and lost as a resource. If an item is recyclable and is put into the recycling container, Harrison will make sure it does get recycled. It is up to each of us to get the items into the right container.

If you have a business or live in a multi-family complex with more than five units, make sure that you do have bin for your recyclables. If there is no recycling currently, tenants should mention the new legislation to owners or property managers. This is a State law.      The cost for recycling for commercial customers is less than the cost for trash. Businesses and multi-family residences could see a savings if enough material is diverted from the trash through recycling and other waste reduction measures.

Find out more about the Mandatory Commercial Recycling by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Contact: Lars Davenport at