Ordinances and Regulations

With the passage of Assembly Bill 341 (Mandatory Commercial Recycling law) in 2011, California enacted a statewide program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills. The law also established a statewide recycling goal of 75% by 2020. In 2016, AB 1826 (Mandatory Organics Recycling law) went into effect, requiring businesses and multifamily complexes that generated specified amounts of organic waste to arrange for organics collection services. Most recently, SB 1383 (California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction law), in effect as of 2022, expanded upon the goals of AB 341 and AB 1826. 

Alameda County has three recycling ordinances that are mandatory. The purpose of these ordinances is to reduce the amount of easily recyclable and compostable materials deposited in landfills from businesses, institutions, single-family and multi-family properties, and self-haulers. The ordinances are designed to help the state reach the long-term goal of reducing waste by ensuring that 75% of recyclables and compostables are diverted from the landfill by 2025. 


California State law, SB 1383, aims to keep food and other compostable materials ("organics") out of landfills to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. In Alameda County, the law is implemented and enforced under the Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance, which went into effect on January 1, 2022. The law affects all generators of compostable and recyclable materials; however, requirements may vary slightly for different generators. Residents must sort compostable and recyclable materials into the appropriate containers. Businesses, nonprofits, institutions, schools, and multi-family properties must: subscribe to compost (organics) and recycling collection service (or have an approved waiver on file); place color-coded labeled recycling and compost bins next to all garbage bins (not required in restrooms); and sort materials into the proper bins and inform employees, tenants, and contractors of the rules (at least annually and during move in and move out). In addition, some businesses that generate surplus edible food must recover and donate their surplus edible food and feed people. For more information, visit this page here


Mandatory recycling in Piedmont has been in effect since July 1, 2012 for businesses and institutions with 4 or more cubic yards of garbage service as well as multi-family properties with 5 or more units. Phase 2 of the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance began July 1, 2015 for all commercial accounts (regardless of garbage service volume).

Requirements to collect food scraps and compostable paper separately from garbage is effective January 1, 2018 for businesses, institutions, and multi-family properties.

All recyclable covered materials: cardboard, newspaper, white paper, mixed recyclable paper, recyclable glass food and beverage containers, metal (aluminum and steel) food and beverage containers, PET (#1) and HDPE (#2) plastic


This ordinance applies to certain businesses and institutions and requires plant debris be separated and composted. Alameda County law prohibits disposal of plant debris in county landfills. Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance requires landscape professionals, residents and businesses to separate all plant debris from garbage. Those subscribing to 4 or more cubic yards of weekly on-site garbage service must place plant debris in the designated “organics” bin, and those who haul to their local facility must deposit plant debris in the disposal facility’s designated “clean green” area. Plant debris includes grass, leaves, shrubbery, vines and tree branches.

This law applies to any person or organization generating significant amounts of plant debris that hauls the material to Alameda County disposal facilities or places the material in bins for collection, including:

  • Commercial and institutional (e.g. colleges, hospitals, park districts, golf courses) customers subscribing to 4 or more cubic yards of weekly solid waste collection service.
  • Landscapers and gardeners
  • Municipalities

The Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance covers all cities
and unincorporated areas in Alameda County.

City of Piedmont Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling FAQ

More information on Piedmont Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling here.

Projects required by the California Green Building Standards (all newly constructed residential buildings and projects increasing the building's conditioned area, volume, or size) having a building permit valuation greater than or equal to $50,000 are required to divert at least 65% of the debris generated by the project from going to a landfill. This includes all construction, demolition and/or renovation projects within the City. Although not required, the City encourages projects with a valuation of less than $50,000 to recycle at least 65% of the debris generated.

Q: Are there any additional City fees associated with these requirements?

A: No. There are no additional City fees associated with the requirement to recycle C&D debris.

Q: Am I required to use Republic Services to haul recyclable and non-recyclable debris?

A: Yes. Republic Services has an exclusive franchise for the removal of solid waste and recyclable material from properties within the City limits.

Q: May I self-haul the debris?

A: Contractors, or any other paid hauler other than Republic Services, cannot remove the debris for the homeowner. Only home-owners who do not pay to have debris removed but personally transport the debris to the solid waste and/or recycling facility are exempt from the exclusive franchise agreement.

Q: Can I salvage or reuse materials, fixtures and appliances?

A: Yes. Applicants are encouraged to salvage and reuse materials and fixtures such as bricks, windows, light fixtures, porcelain fixtures, fireplace mantles and more per the attached Salvaged Material Form (SMF). If you do salvage or reuse, you will need to submit a SMF along with weight estimates and receipts from salvage vendors to the City to document that you have diverted at least 65% of the C&D materials from the landfill. Please refer to the Builders’ Guide to Reuse & Recycling for information on salvage and reuse service providers.

Q: How do I estimate the weight of materials reused or salvaged?

A: You should use the attached City approved Conversion Table for Salvage and Reuse to estimate the weight of these materials.

Q: How do I comply with the Diversion Goal if more than 65% of the debris generated is not recyclable?

A: If unique circumstances make it infeasible for you to comply with the Diversion Goal, you may apply, in writing, to the Building Official for an exemption.

Q: What is the penalty for not complying with the Ordinance?

A: Violation of a City ordinance, such as the Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Ordinance, is considered an infraction that may result in a fine.

Q: Are these requirements necessary?

A: Yes. C&D debris represents a significant portion of the City’s overall waste stream. Keeping these materials out of landfills is an essential part of the City’s plan for:
    - Fulfilling the City’s own environmental and waste reduction goals; and
    - Complying with the State’s Integrated Waste Management Act.