Business Managers & Owners

Setting Up a Commercial Recycling Program

Step 1:  Select a Recycling Coordinator

Appoint one of your employees to work with your waste hauler and act as the Recycling Coordinator.  If you are the owner or manager of a small business, you will probably be the coordinator.


The coordinator together with your waste hauler will spend anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days getting your recycling program off the ground.  After that, the Recycling Coordinator will need no more than a few hours a month to monitor the program.


Step 2:  Contact Your Waste Hauler

To select the best contractor for your needs, begin with your current waste hauler.  Since they are already providing your disposal service, it makes sense to start your recycling program with that service provider.


There are two (2) waste haulers authorized to collect waste and mixed recyclables from commercial customers within the City of Stockton.  Please contact them for service information and pricing.


Republic Services logo             Waste Management log                  

                                        (209) 466-5192                                         (209) 946-5721


If you are a tenant in a building or facility, ask your building manager if recycling services are already being provided for the building or for another tenant.  If not, you may want to encourage the building manager to help coordinate a building-wide recycling program.


If you have a small business, and at this point have determined that you do not generate enough recyclable material for pickup service, you can still recycle.


Source separated recyclable materials, such as cardboard, wood, and metals may be collected by permitted Commercial Recyclable Material Collectors (CRMCs).  Please refer to the City of Stockton Resource list to find permitted recyclers.


Step 3:  Conduct a Waste Audit

When determining what recyclables your program should collect, it is important to know what waste your company generates.  The best way to determine this is to conduct a waste audit.  First, consider activities that actually prevent waste from being generated.  Then, examine the waste that is generated to determine which materials could be collected for recycling.  It may not sound appealing, but it is the quickest, most practical method.  Your waste hauler can help conduct a waste audit.


Step 4: Determine Materials to be Recycled

Decide which materials you should collect for recycling.  Such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass, cardboard and corrugated paper, high-grade office paper and newspapers, metals, toner and ink jet cartridges, wood and lumber, and food waste. 

  • Bars and restaurants serving alcoholic beverages are required, at a minimum, to recycle glass.
  • Office buildings are required, at a minimum, to recycle office paper, newspaper, and cardboard.
  • Hotels, restaurants, food courts, grocery stores, hospitals, and food manufacturers who generate large volumes of food waste are required to recycle food waste.


Step 5:  Design the Collection System

Coordinate the collection with your janitorial crew or cleaning staff, and consider making recycling containers available for all employees.  For example, use containers like copy paper boxes to collect paper.  Use easy single stream recycling labels and signs to identify containers.  Single stream means there's no need to separate most recyclables.  You simply put them in one container.  However, be sure to put a garbage container next to each recycling container to avoid contamination of your recyclables.  The goal is to design a collection system that is convenient for everyone and does not incur additional costs.


Step 6:  Educate

Employees will participate if they are informed about the program and its benefits.  Educate your staff by distributing recycling guides and tips, and post updates on bulletin boards and/or your intranet site.  Train new employees about the recycling program and include your recycling efforts in company promotional pieces.  Make sure your recycling program is part of new employee orientation and training.


Step 7:  Monitor and Maintain

Monitor your recycling program and highlight positive results in your company newsletter or email your employees to let them know about program successes.


Monitoring the recycling program has important benefits.  It can help you determine where improvements, if any, are needed.


There are several ways to gather data to measure your program's success.  Ask for tonnage or volume reports from your recycle and garbage hauler and solicit input from employees.  People using the program will offer useful recommendations and ideas for improvement.


External Links

Stockton Recycles


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 9/6/2017