Multi-Family Property Owners and Managers

Mandatory recycling in Alameda County has been in effect since July 1, 2012 for multi-family properties with 5 or more units as well as businesses and institutions with 4 or more cubic yards of garbage service. In Union City, Phase 2 of the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance becomes effective in 2018, and will add food scraps and food-soiled paper to the “Covered Materials” list and requires all businesses/multi-family facilities to participate.

Compliance Requirements

The following requirements apply to multi-family residential buildings in Alameda County with five or more units.

The ordinance requires that building owners must:

  1. Provide a sufficient bin and service for recyclable materials at the same place as garbage, or at an equally convenient location
  2. Provide a sufficient bin and service for organics (food scraps and compostable paper) at the same place as garbage, or at an equally convenient location (effective January 2018)
  3. Provide information at least annually to employees, tenants, and contractors describing how to use the recycling, garbage and organics containers. Owners must also provide this information to tenants within 14 days of move-in and 14 days before move-out.

We recommend that property owners and managers also post prominent signs on or near the recycling and garbage containers to show which are for garbage and which are for recycling. Download signs here.

Additionally, ACWMA Ordinance 2008-01 requires multi-family properties in Alameda County that generate 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 put 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. Four or more cubic yards of garbage per week correlates roughly to 16 or more housing units. To confirm whether your multi-family property is affected, review your solid waste bill to determine if the volume adds up to 4 or more cubic yards of collection per week or contact Tri-CED Community Recycling at 510.429.8030.

Who’s Responsible

Property owners and managers of multi-family buildings are only responsible for complying with the requirements listed above, and are not responsible for the recycling behaviors of tenants. If the property owner enters into a written agreement with another party (for example, a property manager) that contracts or arranges for solid waste service, that party is also responsible for compliance.

Resources and Help Are Available

Information and assistance with recycling and garbage service: Contact Union City at 510.675.5466 or visit Recycling Rules Alameda County for information.

Visit the Multi-Family Support Materials page for resources to support your recycling and composting program, such as posters, decals, and sample employee or tenant notification letters.

For questions or help complying with the ordinance, please contact Recycling Rules Alameda, call the Ordinance Help Line at 510.891.6575, or contact Union City's Recycling and Solid Waste Manager at at 510.675.5466.