Recycling Laws

AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (2014)
Starting January 1, 2019, AB 1826 will require businesses, non-profit organizations, multifamily buildings, schools, and government entities that generate 4 cubic yards or more of solid waste to arrange for composting. The intent of the law is to significantly reduce the amount of food scraps and green waste currently sent to landfill.

AB 939 (1989) California Integrated Waste Management Act
Mandated local jurisdictions meet solid waste diversion goals of 25 percent by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) determines how diversion rate is calculated and reported. To help in the increase of diversion rates, each jurisdiction was required to create an Integrated Waste Management Plan; see the Sonoma County Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan [PDF: 9.89 MB]

AB 2020 (1987) California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act aka "The Bottle Bill" and AB 3056 (2007)
AB 2020 took effect as litter prevention legislation. AB 3056 raised the redemption value of qualifying beverages to 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.

SB 20 Electronics Recycling (2003)
Established a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes. Fees are collected from consumers at point of purchase to fund collection and recycling programs.

AB 2901(2004) Cell Phone Recycling
Requires retailers selling cell phone take-back used cell phones for recycling.

The California Universal Waste Law (2006)
The California Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) adopted new regulations for universal waste, deeming them to be hazardous to people and the environment. Universal wastes include a wide range of items such as batteries, fluorescent lamps and other mercury containing products, and some electronic devices that contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper and other hazardous substances. Universal waste may not be discarded in solid waste landfills.

AB 3025 Polystyrene Loose-fill Packaging (2008)
This bill prohibits, after January 1, 2012, a wholesaler or manufacturer from selling, or offering to sell expanded polystyrene (EPS) loose-fill packaging material ("packaging peanuts") in California, unless it meets requirements to contain specified amounts of recycled material. Ultimately, the bill requires EPS loose-fill packaging to be comprised of 100 percent recycled material by January 1, 2017.

AB 341 Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law (2011)
This bill's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring recycling in the commercial sector. Specifically subject to the law are businesses, non-profits, strip malls, government offices and schools that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of waste per week. Also subject to the law are multifamily complexes with five (5) units or more.

SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (2016)
Signed into law by Governor Brown in 2016, SB 1383 mandates statewide actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The bill establishes two main targets:

  1. By 2020, reduce the organic waste disposal in land­lls by 50% from the 2014 level, and
  2. By 2025, reduce the organic waste disposal in land­lls by 75% from the 2014 level. By this point, no less than 20% of edible food currently disposed must also be recovered for human consumption.

Although there is still quite some time to meet the reduction targets, SB 1383 serves as the regulatory force behind both AB 341 and AB 1826, and it imposes heavy fines and penalties for noncompliance.

AB 32 (2006) California Global Warming Solutions Act

Sets goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The bill requires that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, which represents a 25% reduction from current levels, and has an ultimate goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. Visit the State’s climate change web site for more information.

AB 1125 Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act (2006)
Requires retailers of rechargeable batteries take-back spent rechargeables from their customers.

AB 2449 Plastic Bag Recycling (2007)
Requires most supermarkets and large retailers with pharmacies to take back and recycle plastic grocery bags. The bill also requires retailers to provide consumers with education about bag reuse.

AB 2347 Mercury Thermostats Collection Program (2008)
This bill enacts the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008 and requires a manufacturer who sold mercury-added thermostats before January 1, 2006, to establish and maintain a collection and recycling program for out-of-service mercury-added thermostats.