Commercial Solid Waste Requirements


  • AB 341(effective 2012) - mandatory recycling services for businesses and multi-family units generating 4 or more cubic yards (CY) of garbage
  • AB 1826 (effective 2018) - mandatory green waste composting for specified commercial accounts and multi-family units
  • AB 827 (effective 2020) - mandatory indoor recycling and organics receptacles for customer use
  • SB 1383 (effective 2022) - mandatory recycling, green waste, and food scraps collection services for all commercial and residential properties. Required edible food recovery for businesses meeting specific thresholds
  • AB 1276 (effective 2022) - prohibits food facilities from providing single-use food ware accessories or standard condiments to consumers unless requested;  prohibits bundling items in such a way that prohibits consumers from taking only the desired item;  requires third-party food delivery platforms the ability to request with order the desired food ware accessories and/or standard condiments. Facilities excluded from this law include correctional institutions, health care facilities, residential care facilities, and public & private school cafeterias.
  • AB 1884 - requires straws upon request at sit down restaurants
  • SB 1335 - requires recyclable and compostable takeout food packaging at state facilities, parks, beaches, colleges, and fairgrounds


  • Plastic Bag Ordinances (ECMC 2013-03) - Bans El Cerrito retail and other applicable businesses from providing single-use plastic bags
  • Food Ware Ordinance (ECMC 2013-04) - Bans food service businesses from providing prepared food in EPS foam food ware or take-out containers.  Instead use food ware containers that are either compostable or recyclable through the City's curbside program
We Are Not Trash (Foodwaste image)

​Recycling organics produces a nutrient rich soil amendment
​that helps to feed the soil food web to product healthy soils
​for healthy plants,
​and contributes to healthy air.

Educational Video:
Perfect for coffee shops and restaurants - Organics Recycling

Organics include:
  • BPI ASTM D6400 Compostable bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fiber - based paper products
  • Food scraps
  • Food soiled paper products
  • BPI ASTM D6400 Compostable bags
Recycling Materials Image

Recycling is a tool that helps to keep commodities out of the landfill and in circulation.  Glass and metals can be recycled ad infinitum.  They are much too valuable to sit in a landfill forever.  Single-use plastics are best avoided as much as possible, but we are able to accept all plastics for recycling purposes.  Beverage containers and narrow-necked empty, clean, and dry plastics have a thriving recycling market.  They are valuable and must never be landfilled.

Recyclable materials include:
  • Bottles and cans - aluminum, glass, tin, plastic
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Clean paper -  clean means it never touched food (includes: office paper, newspaper, post-its, envelopes etc.)


​The Operations + Environmental Services Division has various types of outreach materials available to help educate your employees on how to recycle and compost in our city.  Materials include: brochures, posters, bin stickers, Slim Jims, and green product samples.  Please contact staff for assistance including scheduling a presentation at 559.7686 or via email.  

Commercial NewsletterS & Brochure

Quarterly, newsletters for the commercial sector are created and included with the garbage services invoice.  To read and/or download copies of all archived newsletters, please visit: