Zero Waste - Commercial

Commercial Programs

Businesses are vital for a community to thrive.  They offer housing, food and financial and medical services and more. Every business generates waste materials on a daily basis. Most of these materials can be diverted from disposal at a landfill.  With the right knowledge and tools, any business can operate more sustainably.

Many businesses are creating Sustainability teams to find ways for their business to be a leader in the community.  We can provide resources to help to make your business Green in many ways. To become a certified Green Business click here for further information. 

Mandatory Commercial Recycling Effective July 1, 2012

State law AB341 took effect on July 1, 2012. If your business is generating 4 cubic yards or more per week or your Apartment building has more than 5 units then you must have recycling service in order to be in compliance with the law.  RecycleMore can help you comply with this new law. We have staff that can conduct an analysis of your waste stream and provide suggestions on how to reduce the amount thrown away.  We can provide training to employees or tenants and get them motivated to recycle more and produce less.

(Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery) has also recently passed a State law that will require the State to get to 75% waste diversion by the year 2020  While West Contra Costa County is doing well towards this goal, there is always room for improvement.  If your business would like to improve its waste diversion activities, contact RecycleMore at 510-215-3125.

Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic - YouTube Video


Commercial FAQs

What is AB341?
This new State law went into effect on July 1, 2012 and makes it mandatory for all businesses and apartment buildings with 5 or more units that generate more than 4 cubic yards of waste per week to have recycling service.  RecycleMore has created informative flyers and posters for businesses to place at their offices.

Does AB341 apply to my business?
If your business generates 4 cubic yards or more a week of garbage or if your apartment complex has more than 5 units, then yes, AB341 applies to your business.

How do I find out how much is being generated at my business?
Review your garbage bill from Republic Services or East Bay Sanitary (El Cerrito). It will show what size bin you have and how often it is picked up each week. Or call Republic Services customer service at 510-262-7100.

Who do I call for help with starting a Recycling program? 
You have different choices. RecycleMore can help you get started. We have staff and resources to help you create a recycling program. There are also staff at City level that can help you with other environmental issues such as water and energy use.

What do we do with Electronic Waste or other outdated equipment?
The Permanent HHW facility allows residents and small businesses in West Contra Costa County to drop off e-waste.  It is located at 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond. Also the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center takes e-waste (click link: Outdated equipment is a bit harder to find places that recycle it.  Contact the manufacturer first to see if they will take it back or have local resources. Also visit www.Earth911 to see if there are local companies that will take it.

I see people going through by bin, who should I call? 
Although this is illegal and dangerous, most police and code enforcement departments do not have the resources to stop this practice.  You can contact Republic services to see if they can provide you with a lock.   Put up a sign that says no scavenging or loitering should also help. 

Where can I donate old office furniture? 
Craigslist & websites are good places to start. Also Urban Ore in Berkeley will accept most types. Call first.

We get a lot of Styrofoam from vendors. Where can this be recycled?
First ask your supplier to not use Styrofoam packaging. The El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center at 7501 Schmidt Lane accepts the material. El Cerrito accepts ONLY White block polystyrene foam - No food containers, peanuts, other types of foam, or wrapping material (UPS will take peanuts).

Where can I purchase recycled content office supplies? Many office supply stores now have green catalogs just ask for it. Staples, Office Max, Office Depot and Radstons (local Green Business) all can be accessed online.
If your business doesn’t already incorporate Environmental Purchasing Program (EPP) principals in its operation, then visit this website for more information

Can my business recycle food scraps?
This depends on where your business is located.
El Cerrito businesses can now recycle food scraps.  Contact the El Cerrito Environmental and Resource Recycling Center at 510-215-4350 to get started. For Republic Services customers, your business may request a green waste cart.  The green waste cart is 64 gallons and a business such as florist, coffee shop or produce market can put in dead flowers, plants and uncooked vegetables.  For larger businesses that generate a lot of green waste, contact Republic Services at 510-262-7100 for a roll-off box.  Businesses that want to start an on-site compost program, can call Recyclemore or visit the Compost section on this website. 


Commercial Organics and Food Scrap Recycling


Commercial Organics Program

Mandatory Commercial Organics Collection (AB 1826)

If your business generates food waste or landscaping debris (collectively known as organics), Republic Services can usually offer organics collection service at no additional cost. Businesses that generate large volumes of organics (4 or more cubic yards per week) are required by state law (AB 1826) to arrange for organics collection or to demonstrate an effective method of keeping organics out of the waste stream (self-haul or back-haul). When organics are collected for composting, they are transformed into a useful agricultural amendment. If organics are sent to the landfill, they generate methane - a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. In January of 2019, the threshold for those required to have organics collection under AB 1826 changes to include all businesses that generate 4 or more cubic yards of any waste.

Republic Services can provide free staff training, free interior containers, and instructional posters to assist in your effective participation in this important program. If you believe that your business is covered under this law or you want to begin organics collection voluntarily, please contact Republic Services Customer Services at 510-262-7100.

To find out more about residential foodscrap and organics collection click here.

If your business is located in El Cerrito, please visit the East Bay Sanitary Company for more information on commercial services available.


Commercial Collection Services & Rates

Want More Information About Commercial Garbage Collection Service?

The Richmond Sanitary Service provides garbage collection service for businesses located in Hercules, Pinole, El Sobrante, San Pablo and Richmond.  Visit their website or call them at (510) 262-7100.
The East Bay Sanitary Company services businesses located in El Cerrito.  Contact them at (510) 237-4321 or visit their website.

Construction & Demolition

Update on CALGreen Building Code

On July 1, 2012, the newly updated California Green Building standard code (Title 24–Part 11—CALGreen) became effective.  CALGreen applies to new buildings for residential and commercial projects. In addition, commercial projects over $500,000 permit valuation or 2,000 square feet alteration also need to meet the 50% diversion requirement (Section 5.7).  Typical buildings covered in this code are: state-owned, low-rise residential (up to 3 stories), commercial, public elementary & secondary schools, hospitals and community colleges. Click here for more information about CALGreen.

Recyclemore has updated the Introductory Guide to the Construction & Demolition Waste Management Plan for the CALGreen Building Code to help contractors /owners/builders understand the requirements of Sections 4.408 & 5.408.1 –5.408.4 which refers to the requirement for a Construction Waste Management Plan (CWMP) and to the mandatory 50% diversion for Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris. More information can be obtained from your city’s building and planning department.

For more information on CalGreen and other State building mandates, please visit the California Building Standards Commission website. 

Construction & Demolition Waste Recovery & Disposal Facilities

RecycleMore has compiled a list of approved C&D Waste Recovery and Disposal Facilities.  Please call facilities directly for current rates and acceptable materials. View the list here.

Golden Bear Transfer Station:

The Golden Bear Transfer Station (GBTS) is located at the foot of Parr Blvd in North Richmond off the Richmond Parkway.  All waste generated in the surrounding communities is dumped on the transfer station floor and loaded into large transfer trailers and taken to the Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg.  Self-hauled waste is also dumped at the GBTS for a fee.  Clean source-separated debris such as landscape materials, clean lumber or clean concrete is recycled at the nearby West Contra Costa County Sanitary Landfill Processing Facility.

Contractors who are on job sites that must (by law) have their material recycled need to let the scale house know of this requirement.  The loads will be handled differently and a tag will be issued that states the materials were recycled.

More information can be obtained by calling Golden Bear Transfer Station at 510-970-7242. 

West Contra Costa County Sanitary Landfill Processing Facility:

This facility is located at the foot of Parr Blvd in North Richmond off the Richmond Parkway.  This facility is accepting clean source-separated debris such as landscape materials, clean lumber, or clean concrete.  The materials are used on site or recycled on a separate section of the closed landfill.  Mixed load of construction debris are accepted for recycling (no wet garbage allowed).  Call (510) 970-7242 for more information.

Additional Resources:

For a listing of businesses that provide salvage services and sell recycled building materials click here.





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