Local and Statewide Waste Laws & Policies



City of Walnut Creek

Contra Costa County

City of Lafayette

City of Orinda

RecycleSmart Ordinances


SB 54 Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act

On June 30, 2022,  the Governor signed SB 54, creating the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act. The Act requires all covered plastic materials to meet escalating recycling rates, tiered by date, and requires all covered material to be recyclable or compostable by 2032.  It also establishes a producer responsibility system through the formation of a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to help California reduce plastic pollution. Each year the PRO must contribute $500 million to a California Plastic Pollution Mitigation Fund.

SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
Signed into law by Governor Brown in 2016, SB 1383 mandates statewide actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The bill establishes two main targets:

  1. By 2020, reduce the organic material disposed in landfi­lls by 50% from the 2014 level, and
  2. By 2025, reduce the organic material disposed in land­fills by 75% from the 2014 level. By this point, no less than 20% of edible food currently disposed must also be recovered for human consumption.

Starting January 1, 2022 all residents, businesses and multifamily complexes will be required to separate organic material from trash. Organic material includes food scraps, uncoated food soiled paper, green material/trimmings and clean wood. 

AB 341 Mandatory Commercial Recycling
This law is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring recycling in the commercial sector. Specifically subject to the law are businesses, non-profits, strip malls, government offices and schools that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of solid waste per week. Also subject to the law are multifamily complexes with five (5) units or more.

AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
Requires businesses, non-profit organizations, multifamily buildings (5 or more units), schools, and government entities that generate two (2) cubic yards or more of solid waste (trash, recycling and organics combined) to arrange for collection and recycling or their organics. The intent of the law is to significantly reduce the amount of food scraps and green material going to landfill.

AB 827 Mandatory Front of House Recycling and Organics Containers 
Beginning July 1, 2020, requires commercial food establishments with onsite eating and disposal by customers, to provide bins to customers for collecting organics and recyclables, alongside trash. This law works together with AB 341 Mandatory Commercial Recycling and AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling to maximize landfill diversion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


SB 212 Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship
Requires manufacturers and other covered entities to design, fund, and implement stewardship programs for the proper collection and disposal of pharmaceuticals and sharps. The regulations are still in the development phase and implementation is expected to begin in early 2022.

AB 1343 California Architectural Paint Recovery Program
This bill established an industry-led, statewide stewardship program to manage the reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of leftover architectural paint and resulted in the program we now know as PaintCare.

AB 2347 Mercury Thermostats Collection Program
This bill enacts the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008 and requires a manufacturer who sold mercury-added thermostats before January 1, 2006, to establish and maintain a collection and recycling program for out-of-service mercury-added thermostats.

AB 1125 Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act
Requires retailers of rechargeable batteries take-back spent rechargeables from their customers.

The California Universal Waste Law
The California Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) adopted new regulations for universal waste, deeming them to be hazardous to people and the environment. Universal wastes include a wide range of items such as batteries, fluorescent lamps and other mercury containing products, and some electronic devices that contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper and other hazardous substances. Universal waste may not be discarded in solid waste landfills.

AB 2901 Cell Phone Recycling
Requires retailers selling cell phone take-back used cell phones for recycling.

SB 20 Electronics Recycling
Established a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes. Fees are collected from consumers at point of purchase to fund collection and recycling programs.


AB 32 California Global Warming Solutions Act
Sets goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The bill requires that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, which represents a 25% reduction fr
om current levels, and has an ultimate goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. Visit the State’s climate change web site for more information.

AB 939 California Integrated Waste Management Act
Mandated local jurisdictions meet solid waste diversion goals of 25 percent by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) determines how diversion rate is calculated and reported. 

Additional Resources

Californians Against Waste

California Products Stewardship Council


CalRecycle Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling