Mandatory Commercial Recycling

California’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law

California Law AB 341 requires businesses to recycle. The purpose of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste to recycling efforts. According to the State, the commercial sector generates nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California. In Sonoma County, it is estimated that 70% of what is being landfilled in Sonoma County could be recycled.

AB341 Handout Spanish

When did the law take effect?

AB 341 came into effect on July 1, 2012.

Which businesses must comply with the law?

  • Businesses and public entities means any commercial or public entity that generates 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, including but not limited to, a firm, partnership, proprietorship, joint-stock company, corporation, or association that is organized as a for-profit or non-profit entity, strip mall (e.g. property complex containing two or more commercial entities), industrial facility, school, school district, California State University, community colleges, University of California, special district or a federal, state, local, regional agency or facility.
  • Multifamily dwellings means residential dwellings of 5 units or more regardless of the amount of commercial solid waste generated.

The economic benefits of recycling:

  • No cost for single-stream recycling. Save money by reducing your garbage & increasing your recycling. The cost for disposal services is based on your level of garbage service. The more material recycled, the less you pay in disposal. Contact your waste hauler to learn more about reducing overall costs.
  • Calculate the financial and environmental benefits of recycling by using the CalRecycle Commercial Climate Calculator. This calculator is designed for your business or multifamily complex to assess the financial, climate change, and waste reduction/environmental benefits of reducing and recycling your discarded waste.

What materials should be recycled?

What can be recycled will vary by business. However, this program targets mainly single-stream recycling where paper and bottles and cans are mixed together. These items are then locally processed for recycling at a materials recovery facility.

Does your business throw vegetable food waste in the garbage? If your business would like options for composting, visit commercial food waste composting.

How to get started

It's easy to start or expand your single-stream recycling program.

  • Learn what items can be recycled in the single-stream program to help educate employees or tenants.
  • Enter into a service agreement with your franchised hauler or other commercial recycler.

Note: Any business or individual may donate, sell and/or otherwise arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.

Business assistance

  • Get a free on-site waste assessments.
  • Sonoma County Recycling Guide (English & Spanish) versions.
  • Posters/letters for single-stream recycling education and education about the law.
  • Recycling containers for indoor use. Please note supplies are limited.
  • Reusable shopping bags. Please note supplies are limited.
  • Education outreach events
    • Staff trainings
    • Multifamily complex community events
    • Multifamily complex door-to-door outreach
    • Childrens’ presentations

For more information and to schedule outreach, contact us at or (707) 565-3375.

Additional Resources

11x17 poster for single-stream recycling (PDF: 536 kB)
11x17 póster con información de reciclaje mixto
(PDF: 624 kB)

8.5x11 poster for single-stream recycling (PDF: 705 kB)
8.5x11 póster con información de reciclaje mixto
(PDF: 1.21 MB)

11x17 poster for curbside yard debris & veggies recycling (PDF:2.07 MB)
11x17 Póster con información de reciclaje de vegetales y desechos del jardín
(PDF:3.62 MB)

8.5x11 poster for curbside yard debris & veggies recycling (PDF: 2.07 MB)
8.5x11 Póster con información de reciclaje de vegetales y desechos del jardín
(PDF:6.31 MB)

Commercial Recycling Law (PDF: 987 kB)
Información sobre de la Ley de Reciclaje Comercial Obligatorio
(PDF: 1.14 MB)

This establishment recycles notice (PDF: 952 kB)
Carta de notificación para residentes de departamentos
(PDF: 1.01 MB)

Notice to apartment residents letter (PDF: 760kB)
Carta de notificación para residentes de departamentos
(PDF: 856 kB)

Other downloads and graphics

State Mandatory Commercial Recycling


Local laws related to commercial recycling infrastructure

County code Chapter 22, Sec. 22-2 requires that commercial buildings with fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet of floor space or greater, and multiple housing units with seven (7) or more bedrooms, or any facility generating or anticipated to generate one (1) cubic yard or more of refuse per week, shall provide sufficient container area(s) to house the number and size of containers required.