California’s New Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law

What You Need To Know

Information about the new law:

With the passage of (Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011 [Chesbro, AB 341]), California is one of the first states in the nation to enact a statewide program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills. 

According to 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization data, the commercial sector generates nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California, with much of the commercial sector materials disposed in landfills readily recyclable.  AB 341 also establishes a state-wide goal to divert 75% of solid waste away from landfill by the year 2020.

Arrange for recycling service:

Effective July 1, 2012: A business that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week or a multi-family residential dwelling (complex) of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services.  Businesses and multi-family complexes in Castro Valley Sanitary District shall separate recyclable materials from garbage and choose from one or more of the following options: 

  1. Subscribe to a basic level of recycling service that includes collection from Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. (WMAC),
  2. Self-haul to the Davis Street Transfer Station, and/or
  3. Arrange for the pick-up of the recyclable materials from a person or vendor that does not charge for service.

A property owner of a commercial business or multi-family complex may require tenants to separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.

Call the WMAC Recycling Coordinator at (510) 613-8751 to set up a free site assessment and sign-up for recycling services.

For more information about AB 341, please visit CalRecycle’s website.


Do you live or manage an apartment, townhome, or condominium complex (5 units or more) in Castro Valley?

CVSan’s award-winning Multi-Family Recycling Program rewards recycling and composting. Garbage cart service includes Recycling and Organics, and 1-3 Cubic yard Garbage bins include Recycling. 

For a customized service plan and free Recycling Kits and flyers for your complex, contact the Recycling Coordinator at (510)613-8751 



Frequently Asked Questions about Municipal Solid Waste Services

What is the difference between Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) and Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. (WMAC)?
CVSan oversees the municipal solid waste collection, processing, and disposal contracts on behalf of Castro Valley residents and businesses. These contracts are currently held by WMAC. CVSan does not drive the collection trucks or operate the recycling, composting, or landfill facilities.

What’s the “new contract” for recycling, organics, and garbage services?
Following public meetings and announcements, CVSan entered into a new 10-year municipal solid waste collection agreement and 20-year disposal agreement with Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) on May 1, 2009. The contracts run through April 30, 2019 and 2029, respectively.

What does the new service include?
WMAC will provide franchised recycling, organics, and garbage services for residents, multi-family complexes, and businesses in Castro Valley. Annual on-call bulky goods collection services, used motor oil and filter recycling kits, and dry cell battery recycling will be provided to multi-family complexes. WMAC will also process construction and demolition debris (C&D) generated in Castro Valley.

Why did my rates go up?
In Castro Valley, the solid waste services contracts go through a Request For Proposals process approximately every ten years.  CVSan received two proposals, and WMAC provided the lower bid.  During a ten-year period, rates may increase annually, but only by a fixed amount, agreed at the onset of the contract.  When a new contract starts, there is typically a marked increase.  With this in mind, CVSan selected the best bid and negotiated the lowest rate for recycling, organics, and garbage collection, processing, and disposal.

Is there any way I can lower my rates?
Yes! You can minimize your costs by maximizing the use of your recycling and organics carts. A Recycling Coordinator from WMAC is available to visit your property (FREE site assessment) and recommend the best service level and container configuration for your property type and solid waste being generated.  In most cases, a program that emphasizes recycling will reduce the impact of the rate increase.

Can you help me determine whether or not I qualify for a rate reduction?
Yes, it’s easy—call WMAC for a FREE site assessment at (510) 613-8751. You can also find a lot of useful information, including the Commercial Services and Green Resource Guide, on this website.

May I continue to use my private vendor for recycling, organics, or garbage collection services?
No, in order to get the best rate possible on behalf of businesses and residents in Castro Valley, WMAC is the exclusive provider of recycling, organics, and garbage services.  Moreover, the services advance broader District, County, and State goals of reducing garbage and increasing recycling and composting.

Where do I go for more information?

  • Visit the FAQs page for more information.
  • Visit the Rates page for a list of service rates.
  • Call WMAC at (510) 613-8700 for service questions.
  • Call CVSan at (510) 537-0757 for general questions.

Call the WMAC Recycling Coordinator at (510) 613-8751 to set up a free site assessment.


Q. What are all the recyclables that are accepted?


  • All #1-7 Plastics Recycling
    Due to expanded recycling markets and to make recycling even easier, citizens no longer need to look at the bottom of empty plastic food and beverage containers to see what number plastic the container is made of to determine if it is recyclable or not. Simply place all plastic food and beverage containers in your blue recycling cart or white commercial bin for recycling. Plastic buckets and Tupperware are also accepted. (Styrofoam of any shape is not accepted.)
  • Aluminum Foil, Pans, and Scrap Metal
    In addition to aluminum, steel, tin, and empty aerosol cans, balled aluminum foil, pots & pans, and scrap metal smaller than two (2) feet in any direction will now be accepted.
  • Bag-A-Bag Plastic Bag Recycling
    You can reduce the amount of plastics bags you accumulate by remembering to Bring Your Own Bag when you shop. For all other clean plastic film wrap and bags, simply bundle them in a bag and place in your blue recycling cart or white commercial bin. The Bag-A-Bag recycling program is the only program offered by the District where a plastic bag is used to bundle recyclables. (Plastic bags may not be used to bundle other recyclables or organics.)
  • All Clean Paper and Cardboard
    Recycle all your paper, all the time. All clean paper, including but not limited to: mixed paper, newspaper, office paper, magazines, notebook paper, catalogs, envelopes, wrapping paper, junk mail, telephone books, paper bags, etc. and all clean cardboard, including but not limited to: corrugated cardboard, paperboard, paper egg cartons, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, shoeboxes, waxed beverages cartons, etc. are accepted.

(Paper that has been food-soiled, such as pizza boxes, coffee cups, fast-food paper wrappers and containers, paper towels & napkins, paper plates & cups, etc. are accepted in the green organics cart.)

(Shredded paper that has been bundled in a paper bag is accepted in the green organics cart.)
  • Glass Bottles, Jars, and Containers
    All glass bottles, jars, and containers of all colors are accepted. (Windows and mirrors are not accepted.)




Q. How do I recycle Used Motor Oil? Filters? Other auto fluids?

A. Call WMAC at (510) 537-5500 to request delivery of a Used Oil jug and filter bag kit. Used Oil and filters may be dropped off at a Collection Center (see below).

Collection Centers in Castro Valley:

  • Castro Valley Autohaus **
20697 Park Way
(510) 581-4525
  • Jiffy Lube *
2492 Castro Valley Blvd.
(510) 582-7677
  • Kevin Hinckley Auto Tech **
5269 Crow Canyon Road
(510) 881-1052
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts **
2990 Castro Valley Blvd.
(510) 881-0761
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts **15604 Hesperian Blvd. (510) 276-7822
  • Sal's Foreign Car Service **
3343 Castro Valley Blvd.
(510) 582-5282
  • SpeeDee Oil Change 
**3940 Castro Valley Blvd.
(510) 538-5006
  • Certified Tire & Service Center* 3430 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 886-9500

**Centers that accept both oil and filter. *Centers that accept oil only.



Q. How to I recycle batteries?

A. Because of the toxic chemicals that can leak from batteries that end up in a landfill, it is against the law to throw any battery (including household batteries) into the trash.  To participate in CVSan’s new curbside battery recycling program, place used dry cell (household) batteries in a sealed clear plastic bag on top of your blue recycling cart on your service day.