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Thursday, 03 January 2013 13:34

010313n2By Amy Sylvestri

San Leandro Times

The plastic bag ban has received a lot of attention in the news, but another county recycling law also started being enforced Jan. 1 – now all businesses and apartment complexes are required to recycle their glass, aluminum cans, and certain plastics.

“A good idea is now the law,” says the county’s website. San Leandro is one of 12 Alameda County cities included in the ordinance, along with unincorporated areas not within the bounds of the Oro Loma and Castro Valley sanitary districts.

Individual residents are not affected by the law and their recycling is not mandatory, though it is encouraged.

Businesses that generate more than four cubic yards of garbage per week and multi-family residences such as apartments or condos that have five or more units are included in the new recycling laws.

Paper, Glass, Cans and Plastic Bottles Should Be in Recycling Containers

Paper, cardboard, recyclable glass food and beverage containers, metal food and drink cans, and plastic bottles labeled PET #1 and HDPE #2 now need to be put in recycling containers.

The law went into effect last July 1 but wasn’t enforced until the first of this year, according to Jennifer Auletta, the city of San Leandro’s recycling analyst.

Auletta said that the enforcement is done by the county, but they wouldn’t act to fine a business or apartment complex without first contacting the city.

County to Impose Stiff Fines for Violations

Violation of the new law could mean a $500 fine on the first offense, a $750 fine on a second offense within a year, and $1,000 fines for each subsequent offense within a year.

Auletta said that county employees will be out looking for violations and that garbage collectors could also report violations they see as they go on their routes.

Business and apartment managers will now have to arrange for collection of their their recyclables and provide containers marked with the recycling guidelines. Individual employees or tenants will not face fines if they don’t recycle, but the businesses will.

And starting in 2014, even more will need to be recycled –  food scraps will be legally required to be separated from trash.

For more information, visit www.recyclingrulesac.org.

CAPTION: All businesses and apartments in Alameda County are now required by law to recycle.

PHOTO BY JIM KNOWLES

 

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