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Legal • July 13, 2012

2012 Recycling Law

On July 1, 2012, a new ordinance takes effect in 12 of the 14 cities in Alameda County requiring all multi-family properties with five or more units to provide adequate on-site recycling for the amount of recyclable material they produce.

The local Alameda County Waste Management Authority ordinance builds upon a California State law, AB 341, also effective July 1, 2012, which requires multi-family properties to have recycling service. The local ordinance:

Requires multi-family property owners and managers to ensure that recycling receptacles, signage and information are available on-site to assist tenants in separating recyclables from garbage;

  • Clarifies what materials must be recycled, and requires that this information be provided to tenants; and
  • Specifies how the State law will be enforced in Alameda County
  • The materials that must be recycled under the local ordinance include corrugated cardboard, newspaper, mixed recyclable paper, glass recyclable food and beverage containers, recyclable metal food and beverage cans, and #1 (PET) and #2 (HDPE) plastic bottles. This information must be posted near where recycling and garbage bins are stored, given to tenants moving in or out of a unit, and provided to all tenants at least once a year.
  • Under Alameda County Waste Management Authority ordinance 2012-01, multi-family property owners have until the end of the year to complete the steps necessary to comply. Assistance is available to help owners of multi-family residential properties ensure that the recycling service and information they provide meet the requirements of the law. Property owners are encouraged to request support from their local service provider or city.

    The local ordinance was adopted as a key strategy to help Alameda County Waste Management Authority reach its long-term waste reduction goals - specifically to ensure that less than 10 percent of the waste sent to landfills by 2020 is easily recyclable and compostable material.

    UPDATE: The following cities mandated by Ordinance 2012-01 are Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, and Union City.

    For further information, please visit


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