California Governor Jerry Brown today announced the appointment of Caroll Mortensen to serve as the Director of the State’s Department of Resource Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle).
For the last decade, Ms. Mortensen has served as one of the California Legislature’s Senior Environmental Policy Consultants, most recently as consultant to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, and advisor to Committee Chair Senator Joe Simitian. Prior to that Ms. Mortensen worked for more than 13 years at the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
Mortensen’s appointment was applauded by Californians Against Waste and a broad cross section of environmental, private sector and local government recycling leaders.
"Caroll is uniquely qualified to lead California’s recycling and resource conservation department," said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. "She knows the players and the policies better than virtually anyone. And because she has moved up the ranks at the Department she already knows the culture and enjoys the support of staff. Caroll is going to hit the ground running and help California to lead the nation in recycling, resource conservation and pollution prevention."
"Caroll is a seasoned environmental policy professional who has been a behind the scenes architect of many of California’s nation-leading environmental policies," said Kent Stoddard, Vice President of Public Affairs for Waste Management.
As Senior consultant for the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, Mortensen’s principal responsibilities have involved analyzing and providing recommendations on dozens of legislative proposals related to solid and hazardous waste, air and water quality heard before the committee. She was also Chief Consultant for the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee under Assembly Member Wes Chesbro for two years and worked on issues related to hazardous waste, pesticides, brownfield, and other related policy areas. Previously, she spent 13 years at the Integrated Waste Management Board working in a wide variety of positions including Legislative Director for 4 years.
"Caroll Mortensen is an outstanding choice to lead California's recycling efforts" Chesbro said. "As a state we are about to move to the next level of waste reduction and recycling with a nation leading goal of cutting our waste stream by 75%. Caroll has the skills and experience to make this new law a success".
CalRecycle is the state agency responsible for recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse, and oversees many recycling programs, including the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, the E-waste Recycling Law, Used Oil, and Tire . The agency plays an important role in the stewardship of California's vast resources and promotes innovation in technology to encourage economic and environmental sustainability. CalRecycle has nearly 700 employees and an overall budget of $1.3 billion, the vast majority of which is paid out to consumers, recyclers and recycled product makers as recycling incentives.
As Director, Mortensen will be responsible for implementing AB 341 (Chesbro), recently signed legislation that will increase California’s recycling goal to 75% by 2020 and a requirement that all commercial enterprises implement recycling programs. California currently diverts an estimated 60% of generated solid waste from landfill.