On Monday, AB 818, the Renter's Right to Recycle by Assembly Member Blumenfield passed its last legislative hurdle by a large margin of 50-26 and was sent to the Governor. If signed, AB 818 will finally expand recycling services to California's underserved apartment buildings.
Governor Jerry Brown will have 12 days to sign or veto the bill.
This is a policy that CAW has supported for many years and several similar bills were vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. With bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, CAW is hopeful that this year Californians will finally have equal access to convenient recycling opportunities regardless of where they reside.
"I hope that our new governor gives this bill the support it deserves," added Blumenfield. "Too many Californians can’t recycle where they live. By signing this bill, the governor will radically reduce California’s footprint on the environment," according to Blumenfield’s press release.
Currently, while over 70% of people who live in single family homes have curbside recycling, no more than 40% of apartment complexes (or other multi-family dwellings) have access to similar services. Given this disproportion, it is no surprise that recycling rates at these facilities peak at a disappointing 15%. The need for increased recycling services for this underserved community is even more apparent as people living in these units generate more waste than their percentage of the population. While 19% of Californian citizens live in multi-family dwellings, they generate 26% of residential waste for the entire state.
By bringing the opporunity to recycle to this community, the bill in effect will have the opportunity to not only boost recycling rates for the entire state, but change the everyday behavior of its residents in a way that was not available to them previously.
"Renters want to recycle and deserve a convenient way to do it," said Blumenfield. "Renters typically can’t recycle unless they haul their waste to recycling centers. By bringing recycling services to renters, we can harness millions of small, every day acts into a powerful force for our environment."
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