A Division of the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department (ESD)
The Recycling Program is a division of the Environmental Services Department, and provides tools, resources and services to help with the City of San Diego's waste reduction efforts.
To learn how to donate, recycle or properly dispose just about anything visit WasteFreeSD.
The City's Zero Waste Plan was approved and adopted unanimously by City Council on July 13, 2015. The Zero Waste Plan lays out strategies to divert 75 percent of all trash by 2020, 90 percent diversion by 2035 and an ultimate goal of zero waste by 2040.
The City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department educates and assists businesses to comply with the implementation of the State of California Assembly Bill (AB) 1826.
Since July 1, 2012, California state law requires apartment and condo complexes with five or more units to recycle.
In addition, the City Recycling Ordinance also requires recycling at:
View the New Mandatory Recycling Requirements
A waste characterization (or waste composition) study is a scientific tool used by jurisdictions to assess the amount and types of waste being disposed in landfills for the purposes of evaluating and expanding recycling and diversion programs. The Environmental Services Department is responsible for implementing the City's waste reduction, recycling, and diversion programs. The passing of state Assembly Bill (AB) 939 in 1989 required all jurisdictions in California to divert 50 percent of their waste by the year 2000.
San Diego's last full waste characterization study was conducted in 1999. San Diego reached a 52 percent diversion rate in 2004 and has steadily increased diversion to 68 percent in 2012. This added diversion is predominately due to two City-wide recycling ordinances:
The results and links below are from the recently completed 2012-2013 Waste Characterization Study. The study evaluated the types and amounts of waste still being disposed and will be used to enhance and develop recycling program activities and policies.
The most recent disposal data available is from 2012, and shows that San Diego disposed of nearly 1.3 million tons of waste. This included waste from our homes, business, schools, manufacturing, and military bases.