AB 341 Mandatory Recycling

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Recycling ImageOn July 1, 2012, Governor Brown signed legislation AB 341 which increases the State of California’s waste diversion goal from 50 percent to 75 percent. This state legislation also includes mandatory commercial and multi-family recycling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

All commercial accounts, that generate more than (4) four yards per week of solid waste and multi-family complexes with (5) five units or more are required to have a recycling program in place.

The Basics of AB 341

  • Sets a state-wide 75% waste diversion goal 
  • Requires mandatory commercial recycling by certain businesses and public entities 
  • Changes the due date of state agency annual reports 
  • Modifies the process of amending Non-Disposal Facility Elements 
  • Modifies enforcement agency notification requirements for modifications to a solid waste facility

The 75% Diversion Goal: 

  • Achieve 75% diversion goal by the year 2020 
  • Requires CalRecycle to provide a report to the Legislature by 1/1/2014 to identify strategies to achieve that goal
  • CalRecycle shall not establish or enforce a diversion rate on a jurisdiction that exceeds the current 50% diversion rate

Mandatory Commercial Recycling:

  • Commercial businesses and public entities that generate 4 cubic yards or more of solid waste per week and multi-family complexes with 5 units or more are subject to mandatory recycling, and are required to do one of the following:
    • Source separate recyclable materials from the solid waste and either self-haul or arrange for separate collection of the recyclables 
    • Subscribe to a service that includes mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation

Other Key Information:

  • Jurisdictions that have an existing commercial recycling program that includes all of the elements listed above are not required to implement a new or expanded program 
  • The State can  take enforcement action on businesses that do not comply with the requirements 
  • You do need to start implementing your education, outreach, and monitoring by July 1, 2012, but you can phase in the components of your program

Tips to Maximize Your Success: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
which may help lower your monthly trash bill. Think before printing a document. E-mail information instead of using a hard copy. By reducing the amount of material going into your trash bins and increasing the level of recycling, you will have immediate impact on your monthly trash rate. 

Reuse: Encourage employees and tenants to re-use. Use paper already printed on one side for notes or printing drafts on the other. Bring your lunch to work in reusable containers. Drink coffee out of mug or bring a travel mug with you to the coffee shop.

Recycle: Place a desk-side recycling container (an empty copier paper carton will suffice) at every desk. Collect paper, bottles, cans, and cardboard/paperboard from all your employees or tenants. Recycle old printer cartridges using mail-back containers from the supplier. Collect batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes, along with e-waste for convenient recycling by mail (


Where to Go for More Information
California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (Cal Recycle):

Click here to read the AB 341 Fact Sheet from Waste Management

Click here to read Waste Management's Letter

Click here to read Burrtec's announcement


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