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California Recycling Law: Mandatory Commercial Recycling In Effect July 1 (PHOTOS)

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A new policy requiring 470,000 businesses and apartment buildings to recycle went into effect on July 1, adding to the list of ways our state aims to prioritize "green living."

The new law pertains to all businesses that produce at least four cubic yards of solid waste per week and all multi-family residential places of at least five units. These entities compose about 20 percent of all California businesses but generate 75 percent of the state's commercial waste.

According to CalRecycle, the implementation of AB 341 will result in an estimated statewide average annual cost savings of $40-60 million over the next eight years.

“To achieve this goal, we are working with local governments and businesses to provide optimal solutions in their recycling and educational efforts,” David Tucker, director of public affairs for Waste Management of Alameda County, told Patch.

The new measure, however, is just the first step in the new law's larger statewide goal of 75 percent disposal reduction by 2020.

Alameda County will incorporate even more vigorous efforts to supersede the goals of AB 341, according to recyclingrulesac.org.

California businesses are embracing the new legislation with ease. “Many of commercial clients in the Bay Area have shown an eagerness to reduce the cost of their waste and, more importantly, what goes into the landfills,” Tucker said.

Check out some other big moments in local environmental history below:

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Filed by Sarah Medina