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California lawmakers have passed a law requiring some landlords to arrange for recycling services at their rental properties.

The Renters Right to Recycle Act requires an owner of a multifamily dwelling with 5 or more living units to provide paper, plastic and can recycling services to their tenants.  The law goes into effect this year.

Lawmakers expect that the provision of recycling services at residential dwellings will be one of the most effective means of increasing the diversion and recycling of solid waste.

Seventy percent of Californians living in single-family homes have access to residential recycling. In contrast, fewer than 40 percent of persons living in multifamily dwellings have access to residential recycling.

Of the waste generated at apartments, only 15 percent is diverted, compared to rates above 50 percent for single-family homes statewide. The intent of the Act is to provide a convenient recycling opportunity for the nearly three million Californians residing in multifamily dwelling units who currently do not have access to recycling services at their place of residence.

An owner can apply for an exception for properties where there is inadequate space for recycling containers, or if the law creates financial hardship.

The Assemblymember responsible for introducing of the bill says the move corrects a “great inequity” because it saves many renters the burden of hauling their waste to recycling centers around town.

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