Recycling could become compulsory for businesses operating in California

Following an example set in San Francisco, California's businesses may need to start recycling all of their solid waste within three years or face fines.

Recycling and composting became mandatory this year for San Francisco residents and businesses, but The City is not yet imposing fines for violations.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board voted unanimously last week to approve a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance.

Under the draft ordinance, California's local governments would be required to provide and mandate commercial recycling programs for companies operating within their jurisdictions by July 2012.

The local jurisdictions could fine or prosecute businesses that fail to comply with their local laws.

In late 2013, California could begin fining jurisdictions up to $10,000 a day for failing to mandate commercial recycling programs, under the draft ordinance.

The ordinance must be adopted by California lawmakers before taking effect, according to San Francisco board member Carole Migden. “This has been a thorny issue,” she said.

The ordinance was drafted as part of an effort to implement the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Measure provisions of a scoping plan adopted by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to California Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board adopted the draft ordinance at its final scheduled meeting. It is set to be replaced by a state department.

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