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Orange County’s Recycling Regulations

Recycling is a crucial aspect of environmental sustainability as it helps reduce the amount of waste in landfills, where it can take decades or even centuries to decompose. It conserves natural resources by reducing the need to extract raw materials from the earth, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy.

However, more than individual efforts are needed to achieve significant progress in environmental sustainability. To make the process more accessible and effective, Orange County in California has implemented recycling regulations that require individuals, businesses, and organizations to recycle a wide range of materials, including paper, plastic, glass, and metal.

Orange County recycling regulations ensure that everyone does their part in conserving natural resources, reducing waste, and minimizing pollution.

The Mandatory Commercial Recycling and Composting Program (MCRP)

MCRP requires all commercial businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of waste per week and multifamily complexes with 5 or more units to recycle. The program was implemented in 2012 to divert recyclable materials from the waste stream.

The Business and Multifamily Recycling Requirements (BMRR)

BMRR mandates that commercial businesses and multifamily complexes must provide recycling services to their employees, tenants, and customers. This applies to all businesses and complexes in Orange County.

Regulated recyclable material

ordinance (RRMO)

RRMO requires businesses that generate regulated recyclable materials, such as cardboard, paper, and plastic, to separate them from the waste stream and recycle them.

Green clean program

Orange County offers a clean green program, which provides free recycling and waste assessments to businesses and multifamily complexes. The program helps businesses identify opportunities to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Electronic waste recycling

California state law requires electronic waste, such as computers, monitors, and televisions, to be recycled. Orange County offers several drop-off locations for electronic waste recycling.

Used oil recycling

Orange County offers free used oil recycling services to residents and businesses. Used oil can be dropped off at participating service stations and auto parts stores.

Household hazardous waste collection

Orange County holds free household hazardous waste collection events throughout the year. Residents can drop off hazardous waste such as paint, pesticides, and cleaning products at these events.

Construction and demolition recycling

The Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling Program requires contractors and developers to recycle at least 50% of the waste generated during construction and demolition projects.

Organic waste recycling

California state law requires businesses that generate a certain amount of organic waste, such as food waste and yard waste, to recycle it. Orange County offers several options for organic waste recycling, including composting and anaerobic digestion.

Plastic bag ban

Orange County has banned single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores. Customers are encouraged to bring their reusable bags.

Polystyrene foam ban

Orange County has banned polystyrene foam, known as Styrofoam, at all food service establishments. Businesses must use alternatives, such as paper or compostable containers.

Mandatory recycling for special events

The BMRR requires all special events in Orange County to provide recycling services to their attendees.

Commercial food waste recycling

The MCRP requires certain businesses to recycle a certain amount of food waste.

Green business program

The county offers a Green Business Program, which provides resources and recognition to businesses that demonstrate environmental leadership.

Landfill diversion

Orange County aims to divert at least 75% of its waste from landfills by 2025. The county is implementing several programs and regulations to achieve this goal, including increased recycling and composting.

What Items Can I Recycle in Orange County?

  • Paper products such as newspapers, magazines, cardboard, and office paper.
  • Recycling of plastic bottles and containers, including water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, and plastic tubs.
  • Glass bottles and jars like wine, beer, and jelly.
  • Metal cans, including aluminum cans, tin cans, and steel cans.
  • Electronic waste such as computers, laptops, cell phones, and televisions.
  • Fluorescent light bulbs, including compact fluorescent bulbs and tube lights.
  • Batteries include household, rechargeable, and automotive batteries. They can be reused or refurbished.
  • Textiles such as clothing, linens, and towels for recycling.
  • Recycling of clean, unused carpets.
  • Scrap metal, including copper, brass, and aluminum.
  • Wood waste, such as untreated lumber and pallets.
  • Yard waste, such as leaves, grass, and tree branches.
  • Some stores in the county have drop-off locations for plastic bags, which can be recycled and turned into new plastic products.
  • Styrofoam can be recycled and used to create new plastic products.
  • Ink cartridges, which can be refilled and reused.
  • Concrete and asphalt waste from construction projects.
  • Appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and stoves.
  • Mattresses can be disassembled and used to create new products.
  • Used motor oil and oil filters
  • Household paint and other paint-related products for recycling, such as stains and varnishes.

Is there a recycling fee?

Yes. Orange County charges a fee for recycling to solid waste haulers, municipalities, and businesses. However, recycling is free for residents at Citizen Drop-Off Areas in the county’s three transfer stations. Loads of recyclables mixed with solid waste are not accepted in Orange County’s Recycling centers. The county monitors loads and educates users about its recycling policies.

Recycling options

  • Curbside recycling. This is one of the most convenient options for recycling. It involves placing your recyclable items in a separate bin or bag and leaving it at the curb for pick up by your local waste management company.
  • Drop-off centers. They are typically located at designated community spots and accept the same types of materials as curbside recycling. This option is ideal for individuals living in areas where curbside recycling is unavailable or those with excess recyclable items that cannot fit in their regular curbside recycling bin.
  • Recycling facilities. These larger-scale recycling centers process large amounts of recyclable materials. They often accept a wider variety of materials, including electronics, appliances, and hazardous materials. Some recycling facilities also offer educational programs to help people learn more about recycling.
  • Composting. This option involves the breakdown of organic materials such as food scraps, yard waste, and other biodegradable materials into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening or landscaping. Composting is an environmentally friendly way to reduce waste, save money on fertilizer, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking for a reliable and efficient junk removal service in Huntington Beach or LA? Look no further than Junk Smiths! Our locally owned and operated team is committed to providing top-notch junk hauling services for homes and businesses throughout Orange County.

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