Business Requirements

Businesses are required to have containers and service of sufficient number, size, and frequency for all waste and recycling materials generated. Areas used for storing waste and recyclables should be kept clean.

Businesses will be inspected for compliance by the Sacramento County Environmental Enforcement Department. Records to have on file include:

  • Copies of collection service agreements or self-haul certification
  • Map or list of recycling collection points at your business
  • Education or training materials​
  • Approved exemption form, if applicable

In the downtown and midtown areas, commercial garbage and recycling containers are to be kept with lids closed and locked when not in use.

Mandatory Recycling

Businesses that subscribe to four (4) or more cubic yards of waste per week must have a recycling program. Recyclable material may be collected by a SWA-franchised hauler or self-haul to a recycling center.

At a minimum, businesses must recycle all materials covered by the mandatory recycling law. These include: cardboard, paper, glass food and beverage containers, metal (aluminum and steel) food and beverage containers, and rigid plastic food and beverage containers.

Do not place food scraps, plastic bags, textiles (clothing, rags, etc.,) non-recyclable materials (polystyrene and foam packaging, paint, and light bulbs) or hazardous waste in the recycling container. 

Mandatory Organics Recycling

Businesses that subscribe to four (4) or more cubic yards of waste per week must have an organics recycling program. Organics includes food scraps and landscape waste. Organic material may be collected by a SWA-franchised hauler.

Most haulers will require you to place landscape material in a separate container from your food scraps. Ask your recycling service provider what materials they accept. If you prefer to self-haul or have a landscaper haul away your landscaping waste, you can fill out this self-haul form.

Do not place glass, plastic,​ metal, paper, cardboard, hazardous waste, or trash in organics containers. 


Exemptions for mandatory recycling and/or organics recycling are granted on a case-by-case basis for businesses that meet any of the following criteria:

  • No collection service or other system available for recycling material (4.01.140-B)
  • All generators on the owner's property are exempt from, or not required to comply with, the provisions of Chapter 4 (4.01.140-C1)
  • Recyclable materials are not being generated by any activities occurring on the property (4.01.140-D1)
  • Inadequate storage space for dumpster or cart on site (4.01.140-D1)
  • Results in a violation of zoning code or minimum parking spaces requirements (4.01.140.-D2)

If you believe your business qualifies for an exemption, you must download and submit an exemption form. For additional information, contact us at:

Please note that exemption requests will be verified to insure if the request is valid.

 Additional Resources: