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Frequently Asked Questions

Recycling Mandates

Q: What is California Assembly Bill 939 (AB939)?

A: AB939 was passed in 1989 as a response to an increasing shortage of landfill capacity throughout California (and the nation) and an upsurge in interest in conserving California's natural resources. It requires all cities and counties within the state to reach a 50% waste reduction goal by the year 2000 and beyond. (Using 1990 as a base year for waste generation data).

Q: How successful has San Diego been so far?

A: With the cooperation of local residents, businesses and the military, San Diego's recycling efforts have improved dramatically since 1990. The progress has been substantial. In 2004 we surpassed the State mandate and reached 52 percent diversion. Now the challenge is to maintain the diversion rate over 50 percent and work for even more waste reduction. Waste diversion represents concrete savings to San Diego.

Q: Now that San Diego has gone beyond 50% waste reduction, what is next?

A: First we have to work to maintain a diversion rate of over 50 percent. In addition, it is possible that the State will set higher diversion rates in the near future.

Q: How can I help?

A: There are many ways to get involved: recycle and reduce waste on your own, encourage others (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) to recycle and reduce waste, and volunteer to help reach fellow community members with ways they can help recycle and reduce waste. Visit the Recycling Programs section of this Website for ideas and assistance.