Tips From the Expert: Commercial Recycling – It’s the LAW as of July 1, 2012

By Christine Wied

According to Assembly Bill 341, as of July 1, 2012, recycling is mandated at all commercial businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of trash per week and all multi-family residential properties with five 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.

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.

In compliance with the legislation Environmental Sustainability sent out notification letters to nearly 250 multi-family property owners or managers and close to 1,000 businesses that met the legislative criteria. 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.

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.

A recycling flyer and a list of all recyclable items in Ventura can be found on the Environment Sustainability webpage. So let’s “Get Your Green On” and follow not just the letter but the spirit of this law to preserve our natural resources, save energy, provide more “green” jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions,  and the amount of waste that goes to the landfill.

Open Line Article for June 13, 2012

Contact: Christine Wied at

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