Cardboard Guidelines for Small Businesses

Over the last year, the value of cardboard has fallen dramatically, prompting independent recycle haulers in pickup trucks to stop their collection of this material.  These unofficial collectors are unreliable and often use overloaded and unsafe vehicles to transport your cardboard.  Do not leave cardboard out on the sidewalk unless you have an active Recology account for the amount of cardboard you need collected.  Please set cardboard out for collection only on your service day(s).

If your business needs more cardboard collection, please call Recology at 415.330.1300 (Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and other language interpretation is available) to be sure you have the correct level of service.

If you put out more cardboard than what fits in your blue recycling bin, Recology will collect the extra cardboard and charge your account accordingly.  The value of our cardboard collection is $15.37 per bundle; however, we are phasing in the charge for collecting extra cardboard.From October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 there will be no charge for a reasonable amount of properly put out cardboard extras. Charges for extra cardboard bundles will be applied starting 2020 according to the schedule below. Extra cardboard needs to be flattened, bundled (tied with string or placed inboxes), and no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet.

Charge schedule for properly set out extra cardboard bundles:

  • October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019: $0.00 per bundle
  • Effective January 1, 2020: $5.00 per bundle
  • Effective April 1, 2020: $10.00 per bundle
  • Effective July 1, 2020: $15.37 per bundle

Putting out more cardboard than fits in your bin is not recommended because it costs more than adjusting your level of service to accommodate all of your cardboard and recyclables.

Cardboard Set Out Requirements
1. You must have an active collection account to receive cardboard or any other recycling service. Leaving material on the sidewalk without having collection service is considered illegal dumping and can result in a Public Works citation.
2. Cardboard, recycling bins, compost bins, and trash bins must not be put out on the sidewalk earlier than the closing time of your business or 6:00 PM prior to collection day. All bins must be returned to an enclosed area out of public view when your business opens. Failure to comply can result in a Public Works citation.
3. If you have extra cardboard that does not fit into the recycling bin with the lid closed, the maximum dimensions of the extra cardboard should not exceed 2 feet by 2 feet and must be bundled with string or placed in boxes. Recology will collect the extra cardboard and charge your account accordingly (see schedule above).

Download a copy of the Cardboard Set Out Requirements for Small Businesses here.