California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign

Buying Recycled Products

What's Required?

State agencies must purchase recycled products instead of non-recycled products whenever recycled products are available, if fitness and quality are equal, and are at the same or a lesser total cost than non-recycled products. The State Legislature has mandated that State agencies purchase goods and materials from 11 product categories (Public Contract Code (PCC) section 12201(c).

Eleven (11) Reportable Product Categories

State agencies shall ensure each of the following to accomplish the mandate:

  • At least 50 percent of reportable purchases are recycled products (PCC section 12201(c)).
  • The requirements apply to all 11 reportable purchases for product categories (PCC section 12209).
  • The reportable purchases shall meet each requirement and be applied to the total dollar amount of each specified product category. The purchase of a recycled product from one category may not be applied toward the requirements or the total dollar amount of any other category (PCC section 12203(d)).

Note: Reused or refurbished products should be considered 100 percent recycled and there is no minimum-content required.

The 11 reportable product categories are described below. To go directly to a specific category, select it from the list below. Any questions regarding whether a product is reportable should be directed to the State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) contact listed at bottom of this page.

  • Paper Products, including, but not limited to, paper janitorial supplies, cartons, wrapping, packaging, file folders and hanging files, building insulation and panels, corrugated boxes, tissue, and toweling.
  • Printing and Writing Paper, including, but not limited to, copy, xerographic watermark, cotton fiber, offset, forms, computer printout paper, white wove envelopes, manila envelopes, book paper, note pads, writing tablets, newsprint, and other uncoated writing papers, posters, index cards, calendars, brochures, reports, magazines, and publications.
  • Mulch, Compost and Co-Compost, including soil amendments, erosion controls, soil toppings, ground covers, weed suppressants, and organic materials used for water conservation.
  • Glass Products, including, but not limited to, windows, test tubes, beakers, laboratory or hospital supplies, fiberglass (insulation), reflective beads, tiles, construction blocks, desktop accessories, flat glass sheets, loose-grain abrasives, deburring media, liquid filter media, and containers.
  • Lubricating Oil Products, including, but no limited to, any oil intended for use in a crankcase, transmission, engine, power steering, gearbox, differential chainsaw, transformer dielectric fluid, cutting, hydraulic, industrial, or automobile, bus, truck, vessel, plane, train, heavy equipment, or machinery powered by an internal combustion engine.
  • Plastic Products, including, but not limited to, printer or duplication cartridges, diskette, carpet, office products, plastic lumber, buckets, waste baskets, containers, benches, tables, fencing, clothing, mats, packaging, signs, posts, binders, sheet, building products, garden hose, and trays.
  • Paint. A complete summary on this SABRC category including, but not limited to, water-based paint, graffiti abatement, interior and exterior, and maintenance.
  • Antifreeze, including recycled antifreeze, and antifreeze containing a bittering agent or made from polypropylene or other similar nontoxic substance.
  • Tires, including, but not limited to, truck and bus tires, and those used on fleet vehicles and passenger cars.
  • Tire-Derived Products, including, but not limited to, flooring, mats, wheelchair ramps, playground cover, parking bumpers, bullet traps, hoses, bumpers, truck bedliners, pads, walkways, tree ties, road surfacing, wheel chocks, rollers, traffic control products, mud flaps, and posts.
  • Metal Products, including, but not limited to, staplers, paper clips, steel furniture, desks, pedestals, scissors, jacks, rebar, pipe, plumbing fixtures, chairs, ladders, file cabinets, shelving, containers, lockers, sheet metal, girders, building and construction products, bridges, braces, nails, and screws.

Program Requirements

Last updated: October 6, 2016
State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BuyRecycled/StateAgency/
Contact: SABRC@calrecycle.ca.gov, (916) 341-6199