Commercial property owners, managers and event sponsors — including at businesses, schools, municipalities, multifamily properties, event venues and community festivals — are required to provide standardized recycling education to reduce confusion about what can and cannot be recycled or commercially composted.
Specifically, education requirements are:
- Provide standardized education messaging in print or electronic format to each of the following groups (where applicable): employee, tenant, multi-unit resident, school student, event volunteer, and custodial/housekeeping contractor, at least:
Keep records of when the education occurred and who received the education to demonstrate compliance.
- Within 30 days of new hire or new tenant
- Within 30 days of a substantive change to your recycling or waste program.
Education message resources
Use free county materials to meet education requirements. The county provides resources, such as articles for posting on an intranet site or posters hanging in common areas. Resources are provided for:
Standardized recycling education message requirements
Use the standardized content below to meet education requirements. Education messages must include:
1. What to recycle
Educate on what to recycle using the complete list of materials and language below. Images are optional but recommended.
Put these items in the recycling
- Newspaper and inserts
- Magazines and catalogs
- Mail and office papers
- Corrugated cardboard
- Paperboard (e.g., cracker boxes)
- Milk and juice cartons
- Soup, broth, and wine cartons
- Juice boxes
- Aluminum, tin, and steel cans
Glass bottles and jars
Plastic bottles, containers and jugs
- Containers numbered 1, 2 or 5
- Soda, juice and water bottles
- Milk and juice jugs
- Margarine, cottage cheese, cream cheese and other tubs and lids
- Laundry detergent bottles and jugs
- Clear berry and produce containers
Keep these items OUT of the recycling
- Black plastic
- Paper plates, cups, and napkins
- Plastic bags and film
- Tanglers (chains, extension cords, hoses, string lights)
2. How to recycle
Educate on how to properly recycle using these recycling rules.
Follow these rules to ensure recycling gets recycled right:
- Bottles, jars and containers are empty and dry.
- Leave caps on containers.
- Flatten boxes.
3. Best practices
Educate each person responsible for collecting or transporting recyclables on these recycling best practices, using this language:
- Place only recyclables into cart or dumpster. Educate that recycling materials must be kept loose (not bagged) when putting them into hauler-provided carts or dumpsters. Instructions include:
Properly set up recycling containers. Educate on these basic recycling best practices to make sure they are followed:
- Do not place plastic bags in the recycling.
- Empty recyclables out of the plastic bags directly into the designated recycling cart or dumpster.
- Place plastic bags in the trash.
- Keep containers together: Trash and recycling containers are within 10 feet from each other.
- Ensure the containers are large enough or emptied frequently enough so they are not overflowing.
- Ensure that each recycling and trash container has a visible label and follows county labeling standards.
Standardized organics education message requirements
This section ONLY applies if your business, tenants or events collect organics (food scraps) for commercial composting.
Use the below standardized content to educate about your organics program and meet County message requirements. Education messages must include:
1. Organics to collect
Educate on what organics to collect using the complete list of materials and language below. Images are optional but recommended.
Put food scraps in the organics container – including:
- Bakery and dry goods
- Coffee grounds
- Dairy products
- Eggs and eggshells
- Meat, fish and bones
- Produce/fruits and vegetables
Keep these items OUT of the organics container
- Refrigerator/freezer boxes
- Plastic items
- Recyclables (glass, paper, metal)
2. Best Practices
Educate each person responsible for sorting, collecting or transporting organics on these recycling best practices, using this language:
- Use Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified compostable bags. Educate that organics must be collected in BPI-certified bags. Instructions include:
- Use BPI-certified compostable bags.
- Always look for the BPI logo on each product or on the box they came in to ensure they are the right type of bags.
- Place tightly tied bags in organics cart or dumpster. Educate that bags must be tied off tightly before placing into hauler-provided carts or dumpsters. Instructions include:
- Tightly tie off BPI-certified compostable bags with organics.
- Place in the external cart or dumpster designated for organics.
- Properly set up organics containers. Educate on these basic organics best practices to make sure they are followed:
- Ensure that each recycling, organics and trash container has a visible label that meets county labeling standards.
- Ensure the containers are emptied frequently so they are not overflowing or causing odor issues.