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New Recycling Regulations for Businesses & Multi-Family Properties

Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Hotline Manager, Amanda Sweet.

Do you recycle at your home or business? For most of you the answer is probably yes. However there are many businesses and multi-family properties around San Diego who are still not recycling.

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 341 (AB341) into law this past October,  requiring all businesses that generate four cubic yards of solid waste per week, multi-family properties of five units or more (four units in the unincorporated San Diego County areas), as well as public entities to recycle.  The law will go into effect July 1, 2012.

Legislators recently set a goal to increase the state’s recycling rate to 75 percent by 2020 and AB341 is part of this broader push to conserve natural resources in California.

According to the state, approximately 75 percent of our waste stream comes from businesses, and while the residential recycling rate in the county’s unincorporated areas is 47 percent, commercial businesses are recycling less than 20 percent of their solid waste.

In addition to businesses, approximately 29 percent of San Diego’s multi-family complexes have five or more units in them, and many do not have recycling set up for their residents. A study done in 1999 found that an average multi-family complex recycling program diverted 15 percent of the residents waste through recycling. Every multi-family complex is different and programs can be tailored to meet the needs of the community, diversion rates can be even higher than 15 percent with a little effort by residents.

Recycling at your work or home can help save our natural resources and dwindling landfill space. If your place of work or home does not currently offer recycling, you can visit or call I Love A Clean San Diego at 1-800-237-BLUE to find out what options are available for you.


  1. That is great news. I live in a 19 unit apartment complex in the City of SD that until now was not required to recycle because it collectively did not generate enough trash per week to do so. I’m glad that loophole is finally closed!

  2. I live in a 7 unit complex in Oceanside that has a trash dumpster, but no recycling. They say they cannot provide recycling because there is no room on the property to put a bin and for some reason if other have a trash dumpster they cannot do recycling cans, it must be a dumpster. Will this new law eliminate the ‘no space for a recycling bin’ loophole?

  3. Just to clarify, recycling has been mandatory in the City of San Diego since January 2008. All single family residences; City-serviced multi-family residences; and privately serviced businesses, commercial / institutional facilities, apartments, and condominiums generating more than six cubic yards of trash per week (becomes “four cubic yards or more effective July 1, 2012) are required to recycle under the City Recycling Ordinance. Apartments and condominiums with five units or more must also recycle under the requirements of Assembly Bill 341.

    The following items must be recycled:

    • Plastic bottles & jars
    • Rigid plastics
    • Glass bottles & jars
    • Paper & cardboard
    • Metal cans

    For more information, visit or call 858-694-7000

  4. Before I moved to Oceanside, I had the same problem as above in San Diego. I called the City and they gave the same excuse, that although multi-family was required to recycle, a complex could be ‘grandfathered’ in and be exempt from recycling if they could not physically place a recycling dumpster. Do you know if this will change through the pending rules?

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