Lafayette’s most prominent diversion opportunity lies in the business sector.
Lafayette’s most prominent opportunity to reach a 75% diversion rate lies in the business sector. Over 70% of commercial waste is recyclable, yet Lafayette businesses only previously recycled about 23% of the waste produced, leaving an opportunity for improvement.
Every business stands to financially benefit from improved recycling. Republic Services offers free recycling services to businesses that also have a landfill bin, so the more materials a business recycles, the more money they can save. Also, recycling saves natural resources, conserves energy, reduces air and water pollution, and diminishes our community’s reliance on landfills. Recycling also demonstrates a business’ commitment to environmental protection, creating positive consumer perception and enhanced branding.
It’s the Law
In July of 2012, California implemented a Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law (Assembly Bill 341). This law requires every commercial business, institution, and apartment building (five multi-family units or more) that generates at least four cubic yards of solid waste per week to implement a recycling program. The Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law is part of a statewide effort to divert 75% of California’s solid waste by the year 2020.
Commercial Recycling Program
Republic Services is the sole authorized commercial recyclers for businesses located in Central Contra Costa County, including Lafayette. Republic Services accepts the common recyclables listed below and offers commingled recycling – allowing a business to place all recyclables into one bin. Also, Republic Services provides free onsite consultations to design a customized program that maximizes recycling benefits for your business. Visit Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority for more information and to download their full service recycling brochure.
What Materials can my Business Recycle?
The majority of materials generated at your business are recyclable. Common recyclables collected by Republic Services include:
- Mixed Paper (newspapers, junk mail, white and mixed paper, magazines, telephone books, etc.)
- Glass Bottles & Jars
- Aluminum & Tin Cans
- Plastic Bottles & Containers #1-5 & # 7
What about other materials? Specialty items like electronic waste, office furniture and accessories, etc. that are reusable and/or recyclable can also be collected on an “as-needed” basis for an extra fee. Check if your chosen service provider accepts additional materials, if not call CCCSWA for a referral at (925) 906-1801.
Food Recycling Project
Recycle Smart, Republic Services, and East Bay Municipal Utility District partnered to divert commercial food waste from the landfill and convert the waste into renewable energy through the Food Recycling Project. The program is available to serve restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and other large commercial food waste generators. Collected food waste is taken to EBMUD’s water treatment facility in Oakland where it is added to large “digesters” and is “anaerobically” digested which results in large quantities of methane gas. The gas is captured and used to generate electricity which is used to power the water treatment facility and excess energy is sold to PG&E. In addition to renewable energy, compost-like material is produced and used as a soil amendment for non-food agricultural applications. For more information about the program and a list of participating businesses, please visit the program website or contact Kimberly Lam, Republic Services Recycling Coordinator, at (925) 671-5851.
Single-Use Carryout Bags & Food Packaging Recycling
The City of Lafayette adopting regulations that require all bags provided by retail establishments and public eating establishments for the purpose of carrying away goods from the point of sale to be recycled paper carryout bags or reusable bags, effective July 1, 2015. The regulations also require select businesses to charge for checkout bags that they provide. Customers are encourage to avoid the charge by bringing their own bags. Additionally, public eating establishments are prohibited from providing Styrofoam containers and are required to provide food and beverage contains that are readily recycleable or compostable. For more information about these regulations, please visit the City’s website.
Common Business Questions
Does the mandatory commercial recycling law apply to me?
How do I know how much garbage my business generates?
What if I already have recycling?
Can I self-haul recyclables from my business?
Business owners or managers can transport recyclables generated at their place of business to a recycling facility, as long as they do not pay a third party to do so.