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San Diego to mandate recycling for multi-unit complexes

Recycling will be mandatory at most apartment, condominium and townhouse complexes and businesses in San Diego in the new year, it was announced Thursday.

Apartment, condominium and townhouse complexes and businesses in the city that generate more than six cubic yards of waste a week - the equivalent of about two large trash containers - must recycle all glass, plastic, cans, paper and cardboard, starting Jan. 1, according to the Environmental Services Department.

In 2008, the San Diego City Council made recycling mandatory for most residents and businesses. The City Council also limited the amount of construction and demolition debris that can go into the Miramar Landfill.

The law has been phased in over the past two years. Single-family residences and larger multifamily residences and business in San Diego are already required to recycle.

According to the Environmental Services Department, the volume of recyclables collected by haulers has increased by about 50 percent since the law took effect.

City staff are providing technical assistance and educational resources, conducting site inspections and assisting businesses and residences comply with the new law.

So far, residents and businesses are complying and no fines have had to be levied, according to Chris Gonaver, director of the Environmental Services Department.

The law was passed in part to extend the life of the Miramar Landfill and comply with state mandates requiring waste diversion after officials determined that voluntary recycling wasn’t enough.