Recycle Collection Program

Starting January 1, 2022, the State of California, Alameda County and the City of Union City require that recyclable and compostable materials be separated and kept out of landfills under the State’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383). In Union City, Senate Bill (SB) 1383 will be implemented under the Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance (ORRO) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24, in partnership with Republic Services, Tri-CED Community Recycling, and StopWaste.

Why Should I Recycle? 

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill and transforming these materials into new products. Recycling is important because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserves valuable natural resources such as timber and minerals, prevents pollution and saves energy by reducing the need to collect new raw materials, helps create domestic jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries, and provides many other community and environmental benefits. 

Proper sorting makes a difference! When we recycle the right things the right way, we help our economy and the environment by ensuring quality recyclables can be recovered and delivered back into the economy instead of sent to landfills. We also help the City meet local- and state-mandated recycling goals. 

What Materials are Accepted in the Recycle Bin/Cart?

UC Recycle Poster 2022 FINAL - ENG Opens in new windowAcceptable items include:

  • Paper and paper products (clean and dry)
    • Magazines
    • Newspaper, including inserts, coupons, and store ads
    • Printing/writing paper
    • Junk mail
    • Catalogs and phone books
    • Shredded paper (sealed in a paper bag)
    • Cardboard (flattened)
    • Paper boxes (e.g., shoe and cereal boxes)
    • Paper egg cartons
    • Paper bags
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, trays, and tubs labeled #1-2 (clean and empty)
  • Glass bottles and jars (clean and empty) 
  • Aluminum and metal
    • Food/beverage cans and trays (clean and empty) 
    • Foil and scrap metal pieces (clean)

Remember to keep recyclables clean, dry, and empty. Rinse/wipe food residue and empty liquids from your plastic, glass, and aluminum containers. Do not bag recyclables.

What Materials are Prohibited in the Recycling Bin/Cart?

Compostable and landfill materials may not be disposed of in your recycle bin/cart as per California’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24. Compostable and landfill materials must be sorted and placed in the containers. Other prohibited items include: 

  • Plastic bags, film, and wrap (e.g., zip-top storage bags, shipping envelopes, bubble wrap, air pillows, and product wrap)
  • Plastic straws and utensils
  • Snack packaging (e.g., chip bags and candy wrappers)
  • Aseptic (shelf-stable) containers (e.g., lined juice, soup, dairy cartons and pouches)
  • Styrofoam products (e.g., cups, plates, meat/seafood trays, packing peanuts, and blocks)
  • Grease/food-soiled paper (place in the Compost Bin/Cart)
  • Food scraps (place in your Compost Bin/Cart)
  • Yard trimmings (place in your Compost Bin/Cart)
  • Mirrors
  • Ceramics
  • Hoses
  • Plastic or wire clothes hangers
  • Personal hygiene items (e.g., diapers, sanitary napkins, disposable gloves/masks)
  • Pet waste
  • Carpets, rugs, mats, and other textiles (if these cannot be donated)
  • Shoes, clothing, and toys (if these cannot be donated)
  • Dirt, rock, asphalt, concrete, brick, and construction and demolition debris.

It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste such as chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers, paint, pesticides, propane tanks, sharps, and electronic waste in any curbside collection bin/cart. Hazardous waste materials require careful disposal by a certified facility. Safely dispose of hazardous waste for free at an Alameda County HHW Drop-off Facility or at County-sponsored events throughout the year. For drop-off facility locations, hours, and a list of accepted items, call (800) 606-6606 or visit www.StopWaste.org/HHW.

How Can I Become a Better Recycler? 

Follow these simple guidelines to ensure recyclable materials can be recycled into their highest and best use. We thank you for your efforts!

  1. Know what is accepted in Union City’s curbside collection program. Only place acceptable items in the recycle bin/cart. Accepted materials include clean paper and cardboard, metal containers, and plastic bottles and jugs labeled #1-2.
  2. Keep recyclables empty, clean, and dry (i.e., free of food and liquid). Rinse/wipe food residue and empty liquids from recyclable containers.
  3. Keep recyclables loose when placing them in the recycle bin/cart. Do not bag recyclables in plastic bags. To secure shredded paper, use a paper bag and staple this bag shut before placing the paper bag in the recycle bin/cart.

For additional options to reuse, repair, recycle or safely dispose of unwanted items, search StopWaste' online RE:Source Guide.

How Do I Start or Improve My Recycle Collection Program?

Recycling coordinators at Republic Services and Tri-CED Community Recycling are available to provide free technical assistance to help your business start or improve your recycling program, comply with State and local regulations, and realize potential cost savings. 

Free technical assistance includes:

  • Waste assessments to determine the optimal collection service level for your business and potentially achieve cost savings. Did you know? Subscribing to recycling and compost collection services may help your business realize cost savings as recycle and compost collection services cost 40% less than comparable landfill (garbage) collection service.    
  • Staff trainings to ensure proper sorting, share best practices, and to answer questions. 
  • Setting up indoor color-coded and labeled collection containers.
  • Educational materials such as posters and outdoor/indoor container decals to educate staff on proper sorting. 
  • General support to help your business maximize recycling opportunities and to reduce waste.

Contact your haulers and request to speak with a dedicated recycling coordinator for free technical assistance today!

For additional information and resources including how to order free indoor decals and customized signs, contact StopWaste at (510) 891-6575 (leave message for call back), ask a question through the online form, or email rules@stopwaste.org.

Alternative Recycling Service? 

Businesses that have alternate arrangements for recycle and/or compost collection service (e.g., your business shares service, back-hauls recyclable or compostable materials, or self-hauls recyclable or compostable materials) must complete StopWaste's Certification of Recycling Service (CRS) form

More Information? 

When in doubt, find out! Visit our Commercial Publications & Resources page to learn more about waste prevention, proper sorting, and other available programs and services. For more information about Union City's curbside collection program, call Union City Recycles at (510) 675-5433.

Complete List of Recycle, Compost, and Landfill Collection Rates