California is a recycling leader
California is among the strictest states in the country when it comes to recycling. The landmark AB 939 recycling law mandates that cities achieve at least a 50% recycling rate.
Other recycling-related legislation includes “The Bottle Bill” and several e-waste recycling statutes issued over the past two decades.
Commercial businesses must recycle by law
Commercial recycling is mandatory in California. Apartment buildings, retail shops and commercial entities are required to recycle. Commercial wastes make up about 75% of the waste trucked to landfills. Any business that generates 4 cubic yards or more waste per week must adhere to the commercial recycling law.
California’s current goal is quite ambitious. It hopes to achieve a 75% recycling, composting and waste diversion rate by 2020. To reach this goal the State plans to introduce new recycling legislation and expand upon current programs
Where to recycle various materials and debris in CA
The majority of debris and waste sent to landfill is recyclable and/or compostable. Things like carpet scraps, construction/demolition (C&D) debris, mattresses, e-waste and food scraps can be recycled in one way or another.
Find out where to recycle items that won’t fit in your curbside container by checking out this link:
C&D debris makes up about 29% of the solid waste stream in CA
That’s a big chunk of the waste trucked to landfills each year. The thing is that C&D debris is almost entirely recyclable. Materials like asphalt, concrete, roofing shingles, and lumber can be broken down and recycled into new materials.
If renting a dumpster for a home renovation or roofing project, ask the dumpster rental provider if they recycle construction debris. That way you can source separate debris as necessary.
TIP: This may actually save you money in the end since it’s less expensive for the waste hauler to drop off at a recycling facility compared to the tipping fees at landfills.
To find a C&D recycler near you, check out CalRecycle’s C&D Debris Recyclers Database.
Become a recycling advocate in your community
There are many organizations across the State of California helping to promote recycling and introduce legislation aimed at improving the public and environmental health.
You can become involved in any or all of the organizations below to do your part in helping to shape the future of your community: