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Laws and Ordinances that Affect Waste Handling

Local Ordinances

  • Plastic Carryout Bags (Effective 1/1/2012)

    Who is affected: drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and food marts.

    The ordinance adds Chapter 8.62 to the municipal code of Long Beach, which prohibits applicable stores from distributing plastic carryout bags and requires that any store that provides a recyclable paper carryout bag to a customer must charge the customer 10 cents ($0.10) for each bag provided. 

    Chapter 8.62 - Plastic Carryout Bags

    To report an applicable store out of compliance with the plastic bag ordinance, please email the name of the store and address to lbrecycles@longbeach.gov.

  • Expanded Polystyrene Ordinance (Effective 5/4/2018)

    Who is affected: foodservice businesses, events, schools, and government facilities.

    The ordinance adds Chapter 8.63 to the municipal code of Long Beach, which prohibits the use of single-use food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, rigid polystyrene #6, and non-recyclable and non-compostable material for prepared food distribution.

    Expanded Polystyrene Ordinance

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  • Municipal Code 8.60.370 - Mandatory organic waste disposal reduction (Effective 1/1/2022)

    Who is affected: All solid waste accounts in the City and Food Recovery Organizations

    Municipal Code 8.60.370

    Chapter 8.6 outlines the solid waste requirements within the City and this section, effective January 2022, requires all accounts to be automatically enrolled into organics and recycling service.

    This section also outlines other requirements along with having organics and recycling service such as required education of tenants and employees, inspections, cart color and signage requirements, and more.

    In addition to the service requirement, some businesses are required to have a contract with a Food Recovery Organization if they qualify as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 business per the definition of this chapter and State Law SB1383.

State Laws

  • SB 1383: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP): Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions (Effective 1/1/2022)

    Who is affected: All jurisdictions, businesses, and residents in California.

    This bill establishes statewide targets to achieve a 75% reduction of organic waste and recover at least 20% of edible food for human consumption from the landfill. This bill has several requirements and the information below only highlights the most commonly asked questions about the impacts related to removing organics from the waste stream.

    Submit an SB 1383 Violation Complaint online

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Commercial Businesses

    Do I have to have organics service at my business?

    Yes, this is required per Municipal Code Chapter 8.60.370 and state law SB 1383 as part of a statewide effort to reduce greenhouse gases from landfill disposal of organic waste. Please work with your hauler to sign up for service to be in compliance.

    If you have City trash service, please email lborganics@longbeach.gov.

    Is there a cost for this service?

    There is a cost associated with this service. Work with your current hauler, or any of our approved haulers to determine cost of service.

    If you have City trash service your rate is in process of being determined through a cost of service study.

    What if I don’t have space at my business for another cart? Your hauler will help you determine the capacity you have at your property to add this service and to right-size your solid waste containers.
    If I own an apartment/multi-family complex, am I required to provide organics service? Yes, apartment/multifamily complex owners are required to add organics service for their buildings. Contact your hauler to set up service and for educational resources.
    Do I have to donate edible food?

    If your business qualifies as a Tier 1 Edible Food Generator, you must recover all edible food possible starting January 1, 2022. If your business qualifies as a Tier 2 Edible Food Generator, you must recover all edible food possible by January 1, 2024. We encourage all businesses to recover edible food and donate to the community in need.

    Resources for donating edible food and more information on the food recovery requirements of SB 1383

    Can I get fined for not having organics service at my business? Yes, the City will issue Notices of Violations for non-compliance.
    Can my business use a landscaper that self-hauls yard debris?  Yes. Landscape services must meet the self-haul requirements according to Ordinance No. 21-0040 Section 8.60.370G.


    When will I get organics service at my home?

    The City is working towards full implementation of a residential organics program by the end of 2025. Residents will receive notice of the program and educational materials prior to any new program’s implementation.

    Currently, the City offers free composting workshops and home composting bins at a reduced rate. We also offer free workshops on how to reduce waste at home, including ways to reduce food waste.

    If I live in an apartment, will I still get organics service? Yes, all single-family homes and multi-family properties are required to have the service. If you have trash service already by a private hauler, work with your landlord to reach out to them to set up this service. All private haulers already offer this service. If you have City service, please contact lborganics@longbeach.gov.
    Will the City provide resources on how to use my green cart? Yes, the City will be provide educational resources to ensure success and prevent contamination for our City organics program.
    What will be collected? Food scraps and yard debris will be collected. More info will be provided with the educational campaign prior to start of service.
    Will organics service increase my bill? Yes, the City is not able to provide this service at no cost to our residents. The City is undergoing a cost of service study to determine the rate increase.

    For more information, contact lborganics@longbeach.gov. 

    SB 1383: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP): Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions 

  • California Green Building Standards Code (Effective 1/1/2020)

    Who is affected: contractors and builders.

    The Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Recycling Program is managed by the Office of Development Services. This program encourages permit applicants to recycle C&D material through a refundable performance deposit. Only permitted haulers may be used to haul C&D in the City of Long Beach.

    California Green Buildings Standards Code

  • AB 1826: Mandatory Organics Recycling (Effective 1/1/2016)

    Who is affected: businesses and apartment buildings.

    All commercial properties, including apartment buildings with 5 or more units, that produce 2 yards or more of solid waste per week are required to have organics recycling service.

    AB 1826: Mandatory Organics Recycling

  • SB 270: Solid Waste: Single-Use Carryout Bags (Effective 7/1/2015)

    Who is affected: supermarkets, convenience food stores, food marts, and large stores that have a pharmacy.

    The bill prohibits affected stores from distributing lightweight, single-use plastic bags and requires that all paper and reusable bags meet specified reusability, recycling, and recycled content standards. Stores covered under SB 270 shall also only sell, reusable grocery bags and recycled paper bags that meet all requirements of the law for a minimum of 10 cents ($0.10).

    SB 270: Solid Waste: Single-Use Carryout Bags

  • AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling (Effective 5/7/2012)

    Who is affected: businesses and apartment buildings.

    All commercial properties, including apartment buildings with 5 or more units, that produce 4 yards or more of solid waste per week are required to have recycling service.

    AB 341: Mandatory Commercial Recycling

  • AB 2176: Large Venues and Events (Effective 9/29/2004)

    Who is affected: large venues and events.

    • Venues and events with an average of 2,000 attendees and workers per day are required to have recycling services. 
    • If your venue or event falls into this category, you must set up waste and recycling services with one of our permitted private waste haulers. Waste haulers that do not have a permit through the City of Long Beach cannot be used.
    • Visit the Office of Special Events website for more information regarding large venues and special events. 

    AB 2176: Large Venues and Events

  • AB 2048: Solid Waste: Franchise Agreements: Database (Effective 9/22/2022)

    Who is affected: All jurisdictionsand public agencies in California

    This bill requiresa jurisdiction or a public agency to post on its internet website all current franchise agreements between contract solid waste and recycling haulers and provide to CalRecyclethe direct electronic link to those posted franchise agreements. It also requires that CalRecyclecreate and maintain a publicly accessible database that provides direct electronic links to the posted franchise agreements.