Commercial Services


County of San Diego Mandatory Recycling Requirement

Effective July 1, 2021, the County of San Diego requires all single-family households, businesses, and multi-family complexes to recycle. This recycling effort targets single-stream recycling where all recyclable materials are mixed together. The County passed a new ordinance that amended the Solid Waste Regulatory Code relating to solid waste and recycling collection. This amendment to the code now requires all residential and commercial generators to have recycling services.

DPW New and Renew Recycling Notice

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Recycling Symbol
Businesses that divert recyclable materials from rubbish containers can potentially reduce trash collection costs. If your company or multi-tenant property is serviced on multiple waste collection days or has more than one trash dumpster, you may be able to save money by recycling. Retail businesses, office buildings, restaurants, convenience stores, industrial centers, apartments, and condominiums can all set up our simple and convenient recycling program.

EDCO offers recycling programs that allow your employees and/or tenants to collect a variety of recyclable materials. To ensure program success, your Service Representative can provide bilingual educational materials to support your program.

County of San Diego Mandatory Recycling Requirement

Please DO NOT recycle:
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Cups
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Bags
  • Ceramics
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Mirrors
  • Tissue
  • Carbon Paper
  • Plastic Bags (NO plastic grocery sacks or newspaper delivery bags)
  • Disposable Cups/Plates
  • PVC Pipe
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

How much paper and cardboard is your business tossing into its trash container?

An average office worker can dispose of 1/2 pound of waste paper each day. Use the following equation to see how much paper you could be recycling:

___ number of employees x 0.5 lbs. of paper per day x 240 working days ÷ 2000
= ___ tons of paper your company discards annually

AB 827 – California’s Commercial Recycling and Organics (Green Waste) Container Mandate

Effective July 1, 2020, MCR and MORe covered businesses must provide organics and recycling containers for customers to collect waste generated from products purchased and consumed on the premises (AB 827, McCarty). These containers must be placed adjacent to trash and be visible, easily accessible, and clearly marked.

AB 827 requirements were added to existing AB 341 and AB 1826 requirements. The new law, passed in 2019, builds off existing requirements under these two laws.

  • This law targets businesses that sell products meant for immediate consumption.
  • Full-service restaurants do not have to provide properly labeled containers for patrons, but must provide properly labeled containers next to trash containers for employees to separate recyclables and organics for customers.

AB 1826 – California’s New Commercial and Multi-Family Organics (Green Waste) Recycling Mandate

In October of 2014 California adopted Assembly Bill 1826, requiring all businesses to recycle their organic waste beginning April 1, 2016. The phase-in of this mandate helps California to achieve its overall waste diversion (75% by 2020) and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Requirements for Businesses:

Businesses, including public entities, that generate organic waste (food or green waste) are required to arrange for organic waste recycling services. See Implementation Dates below.

Business Organic Waste Includes:

  • Food, including but not limited to: fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bones, poultry, seafood, bread, rice, and pasta; coffee filters, tea bags, cut flowers, and herbs.
  • Green Waste, including but not limited to: grass clippings, brush, weeds, hedge trimmings, leaves, palm fronds, ice plant, ivy, and nonhazardous wood, like branches, untreated wood, and clean wood waste.
  • Compostable Paper, including but not limited to: uncoated paper that is soiled with liquid or solid food waste, like napkins, paper towels, and tissues, paper plates, and paper cups.

Requirements for Multi-family Properties:

Multi-family properties of 5 units or more are required to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Multi-family Organic Waste Includes:

  • Green Waste, including but not limited to: grass clippings, brush, weeds, hedge trimmings, leaves, palm fronds, ice plant, ivy, and nonhazardous wood, like branches, untreated wood, and clean wood waste.

Implementation Dates:

April 1, 2016 Businesses generating 8 cubic yards per week of organics and multi-family properties of 5 units or more shall arrange for organics recycling service.
January 1, 2017 Businesses generating 4 cubic yards per week of organics shall arrange for organics recycling service.
January 1, 2019 Businesses generating 4 cubic yards of commercial solid waste shall arrange for organics recycling service.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 requires all businesses, public entities, and multifamily dwellings with five (5) units or more, that generate four (4) cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week, to arrange for organics recycling service. The definition of commercial solid waste was further clarified through AB 1398 and includes the total amount of trash, recycling, and organics generated on a weekly basis.

EDCO can conduct free on-site visits to help businesses and multifamily properties comply with the state’s new mandatory recycling requirements. Contact our Customer Service office by phone or submit a fast and easy online request to arrange for organic waste recycling services.

Currently in San Diego County, there is adequate capacity for recycling landscape and clean wood; however, the infrastructure needed to meet the demand for diverting all food waste is still under development. Therefore, we will be working closely with food waste generating customers through the following tiered approach:

  • Prevention of Food Waste: First and foremost this helps your business improve your bottom line.
  • Donation of Edible Food: Nearly one in seven San Diego County residents (approximately 500,000 people annually) do not know where their next meal is coming from. Regionally, almost 500,000 tons of food waste are sent to the landfill. EDI can assist you in setting up systems to donate food to help end hunger throughout San Diego County.
  • Collection of Non-Edible Food: After all possible means of food waste prevention and donation of edible food have been pursued, remaining food waste material will be collected for recycling.

Food Waste Prevention

In the United States alone, a shockingly 40% of food is uneaten, wasted and thrown out. This results in an unfortunate misuse of resources needed to grow, process and transport food while wasting money and accelerating climate changes. We as consumers are the largest producers of food waste, believe it or not, exceeding the grocery stores and restaurants combined! So, the smallest changes we make add up and make a huge difference. Preventing food waste in the first place typically offers the most significant financial and environmental benefits. Below are some food waste prevention tips from Save The Food:

  • Shop wisely: Plan your meals for the week in advance. Shop with a list. Stick to the list and avoid impulse buys.
  • Proper portions: Don’t buy or serve more than you need.
  • Love your leftovers: While you’re planning your meals, prepare for nights when you’re likely to go out to eat and when you might have leftovers from earlier meals. Get creative to give leftovers another life. They are the start of a casserole or soup the day after.
  • Freeze it: Frozen food will keep longer. Almost anything can be frozen! But portion out, label and date your food so that it’s easy to serve later.
  • Shop your kitchen before the store: Check the fridge, freezer, and pantry for items that need to get used up before you splurge on new things.
  • Don’t fall for date labels: Food doesn’t immediately spoil as soon as the date on the package has passed. Sell-by, use-by, and best-by dates are generally manufacturers’ suggestions for when an item is likely to be at its peak quality.
  • Spread the word: Engage friends, family, community, and businesses in food-saving practices. Share your favorite tips with your friends and family. Encourage your local restaurants and grocery stores to avoid excessive portions and package sizes, and tell them it is ok if they run out of an item at the end of the day (so that they can avoid over-purchasing). Teach kids to value food and not to waste it.

Get tips on
food waste diversion



AB 341 – California’s Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling Mandate & The City of San Diego’s Recycling Ordinance

What Does It Mean for You?

AB 341 required that effective July 1, 2012, all commercial businesses generating four cubic yards or more of solid waste per week or multifamily residential dwellings of five units or more, must provide recycling services at their establishments.

In 1989 the State of California adopted AB 939, which required that municipalities divert at least 50% of their waste from being landfilled. After exceeding this goal and diverting 64% in 2011, the State of California adopted AB 341 and has increased the diversion goal to 75% by 2020. The initial requirement in the process is the implementation of a mandatory commercial and multi-family recycling program that became effective July 1, 2012.

City of San Diego’s Recycling Ordinance Requirements for Businesses

  • Property managers and owners are responsible for providing:
    • Recycling services including:
    • Education including:
      • Types of materials accepted in the recycling program
      • Location of the recycling containers
      • Employee/tenant’s responsibility to comply with the City ordinance
        (Education must be provided annually, upon occupancy, and when there are changes to the program.)

Business employees are responsible for separating recyclables from trash and depositing each in the appropriate provided containers.

For more information on the City of San Diego Recycling Ordinance, please visit the City of San Diego Environmental Service Department’s page.

Commercial and multi-family complexes that are not in compliance with AB 341 and the City of San Diego’s Recycling Ordinance can take the first step by contacting EDCO and “We’ll Take Care of It!” Whether you are a retail business, restaurant, apartment complex, convenience store, or industrial center, contact EDCO and we will perform a personal site visit and set up our simple and convenient recycling program:

  • EDCO will evaluate the benefits and costs of a recycling program for your business with a FREE Waste Assessment.
  • EDCO will develop a recycling collection program tailored to your specific need.
  • EDCO will offer on-site recycling presentations for users supported by bilingual education materials.

Contact EDCO today to ensure you are in compliance with all recycling ordinances and “We’ll Take Care of It!”

Global Recycling Crisis Puts Greater Focus on Recycling Contamination


Over the past year, there have been global concerns over recyclable material quality and these expectations are not going away.

In January 2018, China will no longer accept 26 types of recyclable materials into their country. Nearly 60% of recyclable materials generated in California are currently exported to China and other Asian markets. As a result, processing mills throughout the country and the world are demanding recycling facilities ship only recyclables with less than one percent contamination which is a significant change in material requirement standards. A minimal amount of contamination such as garbage, green waste, or other debris can ruin a complete load of recyclable material. The quality of recyclable material can impact your costs should contamination require recycling being dumped as trash.

Please help us prevent and reduce contamination of recyclable material by reviewing the guidelines below and seeing what materials are accepted in our residential recycling program.

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