Alameda County Mandatory Recycling Ordinance

In 2012, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) introduced the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance 2012-01 to expand on the State recycling law. The Ordinance is designed to help Alameda County reach the long-term goal of reducing waste by ensuring that recyclables and compostables make up less than 10 percent of material sent to landfill by 2020.

Mandatory recycling in Union City has been effective since July 1, 2014 for all businesses and institutions, as well as multi-family properties with 5 or more units.

Recyclable materials covered by the Ordinance include: newspaper, white paper, mixed recyclable paper, recyclable glass food and beverage containers, metal (aluminum and steel) food and beverage containers, PET (#1) and HDPE (#2) plastic bottles.

Effective January 1, 2018, businesses, institutions, and multi-family properties, must also keep organics (food scraps, compostable paper, and plant debris) separate from the garbage. More information about the ordinance is located at www.RecyclingRulesAC.org

Property owners and managers of multi-family properties with 5 or more units must:

  1. Provide containers and service of sufficient number, size, and frequency for recyclable materials at the same or at an equally convenient location as garbage.
  2. Provide containers and service of sufficient number, size, and frequency for organics (food scraps and compostable paper) at the same or at an equally convenient location as garbage.
  3. Provide information at least annually to employees, tenants, and contractors describing how to properly use the recycling, garbage, and organics containers, as well as no later than 14 days after move-in and no less than 14 days prior to move-out.

Additionally, ACWMA Ordinance 2008-01 requires multi-family properties in Alameda County generating 4 or more cubic yards of garbage per week to separate all plant debris from garbage and recyclable materials. Those with on-site service must place plant debris in a designated organics collection bin. Multi-family property owners or managers can arrange for the removal of plant debris by their landscaper. The landscaper must haul to an approved facility and must deposit plant debris in the facility’s designated “clean green” area.