California to Mandate Recycling for Businesses, Apartments

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California residents not living in permanent housing may no longer have to deal with the frustration of searching for recycling options.

The state’s Integrated Waste Management Board (IWMB) is formulating a program meant to encourage businesses, apartment complexes and mobile home parks to institute recycling. The mandatory recycling directive would most likely set goals for cities and counties, allowing them to implement individual programs as long as they comply.

Photo: Amanda Wills,

While cities such as San Diego already have recycling mandates, the IWMB is looking to make it a statewide law. Photo: Amanda Wills,

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that if half of the 5.5 million tons of recyclable material dumped by large businesses, apartment complexes and mobile home parks were reused, the state could save space in landfills and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by the equivalent of taking almost 1 million cars off the road.

Some cities in California won’t be heavily affected by the proposal, as recycling mandates are already in place. San Diego is one such city. Its ordinance will be in full-effect on Jan. 1, 2010. Similar to the statewide program, it requires collection bins and regular pickups for businesses, apartments and mobile home parks.

“We consider them one of our models,” said Brenda Smyth, a state waste board regulator working on the proposal. However, “There are very few communities that have gone the full route,” as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Many believe the cost of the program is cause for concern. Education and enforcement of the mandate would raise fees. However, diverting more trash to recycling can save money.

A draft proposal will be released this year, and state law requires the plan to be implemented no later than Jan. 1, 2012.

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  2. I really hope this passes because i no a lot of people who live in apartments that want to recycle more but don’t because of the hassle. Providing bins would encourage recycling in buildings where large amounts of trash are picked up daily. I think this will have a positive effect on the planet in the long run.

  3. Global Disposal Reduction Services will audit apartment buildings and HOA’s at no cost to the owners and produce a report telling them how much trash and recycling is being produced. The report gives cost saving ways to improve the facilities sustainability while increasing the facilities efficiency.

  4. It seems to me that there should be just as much concern about recycling incandescent light bulbs as there is about fluorescent light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs contain lead at levels that exceed hazardous waste limits and release more mercury into the the environment than fluorescent bulbs. ( per So many people throw them into the regular trash. I can’t find anywhere— including—( either drop-off or mail in service ) that takes incandescent bulbs. I am switching over to the fluorescent bulbs, but where do I recycle the old incandescent ones???

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