Recycling has done a wealth of good for Sacramento’s environment and community, but often there are complications that come along with the recycling industry. The Board of Supervisors aims to address some of these issues with today’s approval of amendments to the County’s recycling regulations.
“There has been a great deal of discussion about recycling facilities, particularly those co-located with gas stations and liquor stores,” said Susan Peters, Supervisor of District 3. “We want to address the concerns of neighborhoods with recycling facilities nearby, while trying to be reasonable to the recycling business owners.”
The amendments were proposed by the Department of Community Development after receiving a number of complaints from both residents and recycle facility owners. While some residents feel that nearby recycling facilities create nuisances such as loud late-night noise and loitering, recycle facility owners feel the current zoning regulations are too restrictive.
“Our goal is to help these business owners run a successful recycling facility while respecting the character of the neighborhoods,” said Roberta MacGlashan, Supervisor of District 4. “Our hope is that these new guidelines will allow facilities to be more compatible with neighborhoods.”
Recycling facilities are currently split up into three types – minor, major and convenience facilities. Convenience facilities are located in commercial areas accessible to residents for redemption of glass, bottles, and cans. The proposed regulations require that new convenience facilities be located indoors or in a 400 square foot kiosk to avoid unsightly outdoor storage of recycled materials and barrels. Locations next to liquor stores, convenience stores and gas stations are prohibited. The facility must be located in a shopping center well away from residential areas.
The other two categories allow operations that accept scrap metal, e-waste and other materials beyond convenience materials (minor facilities) to operate closer to residential areas, while insuring that larger operations (major facilities) are allowed only in industrial zones with a 1,000 foot distance from residential zones.
Residents looking to recycle at their local convenience facility must remember:
- Operators cannot serve customers with shopping carts, flat beds with wheels, wagons or makeshift carts with wheels.
- Only customers arriving on a bicycle without a trailer, with two-wheel carts, in a motor vehicle or on foot with hand-carried recyclables will be served.
- No bags or trash blowing on premises is permitted.
- Customers must use spill buckets. If material is spilled on the pavement, it must be cleaned up immediately by the operator.
On 10/27/15, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to allow existing recycling operators four (4) more months to apply for certificates of compliance with the Planning Department to allow them time to come into compliance with the new regulations. More information on the Recycling Facility Zoning Code Amendment.