May 23 - Recycling Advocate: CalRecycle Considers Payment Cut; Product Bans Gain Steam

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Legislative Update
While much of the legislative attention is focused on negotiating a balanced budget, CAW is focused on supporting legislation that will promote and stimulate green jobs, through recycling, composting and use of recycled materials in manufacturing.

The following bills are awaiting action in the fiscal committee, prior to going to the floor for a full vote.
AB 341 (Chesbro) expands recycling services to apartment buildings and businesses, and sets a statewide goal of a 75% recycling rate by 2020.
AB 960 (Lowenthal) helps tackle the problem of illegal e-waste exports to foreign countries by requiring recyclers to conform their exporting practices in order to receive payments for collections.
AB 1149 (Gordon and Wieckowski) would extend a January 1, 2012 sunset for the Plastic Market Development program to continue investment in California’s plastics recycling and manufacturing infrastructure.
AB 525 (Gordon) extends a successful statewide tire recycling program that promotes the recycling of tires into Rubberized Asphalt Concrete.

The following bills have passed their respective fiscal committees and now await floor votes or other action:
SB 567 (DeSaulnier) will expand California’s existing end-of-life labeling requirements from bags and food packaging to all plastic products and limit misleading statements about product degradation.
SB 568 (Lowenthal) prohibits food vendors from distributing foamed polystyrene food takeout containers.
AB 818 (Blumenfield) the Renters’ Right to Recycle Act, brings the opportunity to recycle to the underserved sector of apartment complexes and other multifamily dwellings. The bill passed with a 51-25 vote on the Assembly floor, and advances to the Senate.
AB 298 (Brownley), which sets health and safety standards for reusable bags, passed with a 49-25 vote on the Assembly floor, and advances to the Senate.

CAW is also opposed to AB 1178 (Ma), a bill which prohibits local governments from limiting disposal of imported waste.

Local Plastic Ordinances Update
• The City of Long Beach recently passed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags and placing a 10 cent minimum price requirement on paper bags. The ordinance is effective for larger stores starting in August and expands to other affected stores in 2012.
• The City of Burlingame passed an ordinance banning food containers made from expanded polystyrene, also known as EPS or Styrofoam. The ordinance is effective starting in 2012.
• The City of Half Moon Bay passed an ordinance banning the distribution of Styrofoam food containers. The ordinance is effective August 1, 2011.

CalRecycle Contemplates Reduced Processing Payments
CalRecycle contemplates an action that could cost California recyclers $7-12 million in reduced processing payments over the next 6 months. Last week, CalRecycle staff reported that statewide average scrap values for glass, PET and HDPE have all increased enough to prompt consideration of reducing processing payment for recyclers.

While nothing has yet been decided, the Department is contemplating an ‘adjustment’ in processing payments (i.e. reduction to match current scrap values) as early as July 1. This issue was discussed at the May Monthly CalRecycle Meeting. The adjustment could potentially reduce processing payment for PET by $12 million, HDPE and glass by more than $200,000 respectively. CalRecycle will be hosting a workshop on this issue at the end of May or early June. Stay updated on CAW’s Website.

SF First in the State to Pass Opt-in Yellow Pages Ordinance
On May 10th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to approve a 3-year pilot program to limit distribution of Yellow Pages. The ordinance requires Yellow Page distributors or publishers to confirm that delivery is desirable before leaving yellow pages in the doorway for a resident who is not at home. Confirmation can be done by phone, by mail, or by leaving a notice of attempted delivery. The legislation passed a customary second reading last Tuesday, with 9-1 vote.

As part of the decision making process, an economic impact study was conducted by the city's chief economist. According to the report, the ordinance would actually boost the economy, in part by lowering advertising rates and reducing cost of recycling Yellow Pages.

San Francisco is the first in the State to pass this type of opt-in approach, and will help reduce the number of unwanted phone books considerably. CAW is proud to have supported the passage of this ordinance.

Recycling News
May 19 - Time is Right to Internalize Enviro Cost of CFLs
May 17 - Biodegradable vs. Compostable, New Bill Reduces Greenwashing
May 12 - Surfers on Worldwide Sailing Adventure Find Excessive Plastic Waste
May 6 - Plastic Bags Kill Whale in Puerto Rico (photo)

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