Commercial Waste & Recycling Services

Start a Recycling Program

Recycling is not only good for the environment of Lake Forest, it can be great for your bottom line too! By exchanging a trash bin with a recycle bin, your monthly bill may be significantly reduced. Getting started with CR&R is as easy as being green. CR&R will structure a program for your business, and provide training and assistance to your employees. To start a recycle program for your business, contact CR&R at (949) 625-6735.

Recycling contributes to the overall well being of the City of Lake Forest, and your business. Additionally it is the law! View the following information to learn about recycling legislation, and how to ensure your business complies with mandates.

SB 1383 and AB 1826: Mandatory Organics Recycling

Senate Bill 1383 and Assembly Bill 1826 (PDF)  require all businesses that generate organic waste (food waste, landscaping waste) to subscribe to and/or participate in a program to recycle the waste. Organic waste includes food scraps, vegetable trimming, plate scrapings, spoiled food, and landscaping waste.  

How do businesses (including property mangers) comply?

1. Recycle your organic material.

  • Subscribe to regular organics collection service from CR&R.    


  • Self-haul organics to a permitted facility such as a composting or anaerobic digestion facility.  A record must be kept showing the amount of organic material delivered to each facility.

2. Provide organics and recycling service to employees, contractors, tenants, and customers.

  • Collection service must be arranged so that access to an adequate number, size, and location of containers is available.
  • For all outdoor and indoor containers, the container bodies or lids shall conform to the following color scheme: gray/black for trash, blue for recycling, and, green for organics.  In addition, containers shall have labels with graphic images to indicate primary materials accepted and prohibited.
  • Provide, annually, educational information about the legal requirements to compost and recycle.  In addition, education must be provided on how to properly sort the three (3) waste streams into correct containers.  Please note, for new tenants, this information must be provided before or within 14 days of move-in.
  • Periodically inspect recycling and organics containers and inform employees if contamination is found.

Which businesses are required to donate excess edible food?

Large food generating businesses are required to donate excess edible food.  For more information on businesses subject to this part of SB 1383, please visit the City's Edible Food Recovery information page.  Of course, anyone can donate edible food and is encouraged to participate in these programs too.

AB 827: Restaurant Recycling and Organics Bins

Effective July 1, 2020, Assembly Bill 827 (AB 827) mandates food service establishments to provide customers with disposal containers for three (3) types of materials - food scraps, recyclables, and trash - generated from products purchased and consumed onsite.

Which businesses are subject to the law?

  • Businesses covered under AB1826 and AB 341 recycling laws.
  • Any food generating establishment where customers bus their own tables such as fast-food restaurants.

What is required by the law?

  • Businesses must provide customers with recycling and organics collection bins adjacent to each in-house bin (restroom bins are excluded)
  • Bins must be in clear view and easily accessible.
  • Bins must be properly labeled to indicate which materials can be placed inside.
    1. Common organic materials include plate scrapings (leftover food) and food-soiled paper.
    2. Common recyclable materials include clean and dry paper and cardboard, empty and dry aluminum cans and plastic beverage bottles.
    3. Common trash materials include plastic single-use utensils, plastic straws, condiment packets, and soft drink cups.

What if a business sells food that is consumed off-site?

  • If all materials are consumed off-site and the business does not already provide a trash container for customers, then organic recycling collection bins are not needed.

Any exemptions?

  • Full-service restaurants are exempt; they are not required to provide customers with organics and recycling collection bins. However, businesses must provide properly labeled bins next to trash bins for employees to separate all post-consumer materials.

Getting Started

Businesses may create their own signage or utilize examples from CalRecycle's website.

AB 341: Mandatory Commercial and Multi-Family Complex Recycling Law

Assembly Bill 341 (PDF) (AB 341) was signed into law in October 2011 and requires certain types of commercial and multi-family complexes to subscribe to recycling services. Specifically, businesses that generate  four (4) or more cubic yards of trash per week and multi-family complexes with five (5) or more units are required to recycle.  For more information on the requirements of AB 341, visit CalRecycle.  

CR&R offers programs for both Commingled and Source Separated Recycling. For assistance in implementing a recycling program, please contact CR&R at (949) 625-6735.The CR&R Commercial Recycling Brochure (PDF) has some helpful information on recyclable items, green waste, bulky items, E-waste, and household hazardous waste.

AB 341 SELF-REPORTING FORM:  If your businesses has been identified as a non-compliant property, you are required to submit the following self-reporting form to the City:   Click here.

Recycle symbol with grass texture

Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling Requirements

The City of Lake Forest implemented a Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Recycling Program (Ordinance No. 320) to divert C&D material from California landfills and to assist the City in achieving diversion requirements mandated by Assembly Bill 939 and the California Building Standards Code. This program requires that at least 65% of C&D waste generated at “covered projects” in the City be diverted from landfill disposal through reuse and recycling. C&D material typically consists of waste generated during construction, renovation, or demolition of buildings, pavements, or other structures.

The links below provide detailed information about the City of Lake Forest’s C&D Program including the forms and reports necessary to comply with the ordinance.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous wastes are products that are flammable, corrosive, reactive or toxic. They are dangerous to the public and the environment. It is illegal to dispose of hazardous wastes in your CR&R containers. Hazardous wastes must be disposed of properly. For more information about the disposal of hazardous waste, check out the Orange County Landfills website.