68°

San Diego
Weather

Accessibility Tools

  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Recycling Ordinance Update

Did you know everyone in the City of San Diego is required to recycle? But what and how we recycle has recently changed. City-serviced multi-family residences, privately serviced businesses, commercial/institutional facilities, apartments, condominiums and permitted special events all have a new list of items that must be recycled. See how the new rules impact you.

Recycling Requirements for Single-family Homes

Single-family residences including residences serviced by the City of San Diego, and by private haulers must recycle plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper, newspaper, metal containers, cardboard, rigid plastics including clean food waste containers, jugs, tubs, trays, pots, buckets and toys.

Recycling Requirements for Multi-family Properties

Apartments and condominiums with two or more units serviced by private hauler must:

  • Recycle plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper, newspaper, metal containers, cardboard, rigid plastics including clean food waste containers, jugs, tubs, trays, pots, buckets and toys.
  • Organic waste recycle yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste.
  Hauler

Self-Haul, Back Haul or Shares Service

Recycling Options

Subscribe to recycling collection service in a separate container for pick up at least twice per month for all mixed recyclable materials generated.

The property owner/manager needs to complete and submit annually a PDF icon Recycling Reporting Form to ESD if they self-haul or back haul their recyclables or  share recycling service with another facility.

Organic Waste Recycling Options

Subscribe to organic waste recycling collection service in a separate container for pick up at least twice per month for yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste.
 

Contract with gardening or landscaping service provider to self-haul yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste to a PDF icon mulching or composting facility for recycling.

 

The property owner/manager needs to complete and submit annually a PDF icon Recycling Reporting Form to ESD if they self-haul or back haul their yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste or share organic waste recycling service with another facility.

Contact City approved franchise haulers or certified recycle material collectors to request recycling and organics waste recycling containers and service needs.

Recycling Requirements for Commercial

Businesses and institutional facilities must:

  • Recycle plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper, newspaper, metal containers, cardboard, rigid plastics including clean food waste containers, jugs, tubs, trays, pots, buckets and toys, organics waste recycle food scraps, food-soiled paper, yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste.
  Hauler

Self-Haul, Back Haul or Shares Service

Recycling Options

Subscribe to recycling collection in a separate container with service of sufficient quantity, size and pick up frequency for all mixed recyclable materials generated.

The property owner/manager needs to complete and submit annually a PDF icon Recycling Reporting Form to ESD if they self-haul or back haul their recyclables or  share recycling service with another facility.

Organic Waste Recycling Options

Subscribe to organic waste recycling collection service in a separate container for pick up at least twice per month for yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste.

AND

Subscribe to organics waste recycling collection service in a separate container for pick up at least one time per week for food scraps and food-soiled paper.

Contract with gardening or landscaping service provider to self-haul yard trimmings and nonhazardous wood waste to a PDF icon mulching or composting facility for recycling.

The property owner/manager needs to complete and submit annually a PDF icon Recycling Reporting Form to ESD if they self-haul or back haul their organic waste materials or share organic waste recycling service with another facility.

Contact City approved franchise haulers or certified recycle material collectors to request recycling and organics waste recycling containers and service needs.

Recycling Requirements for Special Events

Special events requiring a City permit must:

  • Recycle plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper, newspaper, metal containers, cardboard, rigid plastics including clean food waste containers, jugs, tubs, trays, pots, buckets and toys.
  • Provide recycling containers throughout the venue.
  • Ensure that all recyclable materials are delivered to a recycling facility, and not to a landfill.

Contact City approved special event collectors to request recycling containers and service needs.

 

Exemptions

Exemptions may be granted upon (but are not limited to) consideration of the following factors:

  • The facility does not generate the threshold amount for waste and recycling.
    • Commercial and multi-family properties that generate 0.001 cubic yards or less per week* of trash and recyclables.
    • Multi-family properties that generate less than 0.5 cubic yard per week** of yard trimmings and non-hazardous wood waste.
    • Commercial facilities that generate less than 0.5 cubic yard per week** of yard trimmings, non-hazardous wood waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper.

*0.001 cubic yard is about one 24-ounce cup

**0.5 cubic yard is about one 96-gallon container

  • The facility does not generate recyclables.
  • There is inadequate space to accommodate a recycling container.
  • The facility has an approved shared service agreement with another facility who has certified waste hauling service.
  • The facility self-hauls or back-hauls their recyclable materials generated by their property. In which case, the recyclables must be delivered to a recycling facility

The facility owner must submit an annual PDF icon Recycling Reporting Form to the Environmental Services Department if they share recycling service, self-haul or back-haul their recyclable materials.

Please note that exemptions may be granted but may warrant additional site check(s) to ensure exemptions are granted fairly across the board. If you have an assigned Code Enforcement Officer, she/he can further discuss the exemption application process with you.

Compliance Enforcement

The City of San Diego has Code Compliance Officers that will routinely visit properties to ensure all City and State regulations are being met. Under the PDF icon City Recycling Ordinance, Code Compliance Officers may:

  • Issue a written warning (Notice of Violation) regarding non-compliance and determine a follow-up date in accordance to the violation and the amount of time needed to reach compliance.
  • Coordinate technical assistance with a City Recycling Specialist to ensure compliance assistance is provided.

If the Notice of Violation deadline is not met, the Code Compliance Officer may:

  • Issue an Administrative Citation not below $250 for the first offense.
  • Issue a new follow-up date in accordance with the Administrative Citation.
  • Continue to coordinate technical assistance with a City Recycling Specialist.
  • Continue to issue Administrative Citations not to exceed $1,000 for each subsequent offense should compliance not be met on the Code Officer’s follow-up date(s).

Resources

Report Properties Without Recycling

Report Properties without Recycling
Disclaimer: It is the policy of the ESD's Code Enforcement Section to request the source of the complaint, which will remain confidential. However, a judicial proceeding may order this information to be revealed. Complaints from anonymous sources will not be accepted.
Report Form
(*indicates required field)