As a steady stream of media coverage illustrates (see below), the failure of the Governor and Department of Conservation to support or advance a solution to the imbalance in California's Beverage Container Recycling Law has resulted in the elimination of thousands of green jobs and the closing of hundreds of recycling centers.
While the Governor's office has attempted to re-write history by suggesting that the shortfall was a surprise driven by the economic downturn, the facts tell a different story:
- The primary cause of the $240 million shortfall was the illegal transfer and non-repayment of mor than $450 million in consumer recycling funds to the state's General Fund.
- This shortfall was known to State Budget experts in mid-2008, yet the Governor's office failed to inform the legislature or program stakeholders until late May 2009.
- Contrary to administration contentions, beverage sales have dropped less than 3% in the last year, hardly the cause of a $240 million gap.
CAW is pressing the administration and the legislature to move an urgency bill in January implements the package of solutions supported by local governments, recyclers and other program stakeholders in August:
- Close loopholes in the law to ensure all container types and sizes for existing covered beverages are added to the program.
- Eliminate outdated and ineffective program expenditures.
- Reduce by 30 days the time beverage distributors are allowed to hold consumer redemption funds before paying the Department of Conservation.
Recent Media Coverages:
- ABC 7 Video: State Recycling Funds Raided; Jobs Vanish
- LA Times Opinion: Billion-dollar Bottle Shock in Sacramento as a Good Green Program Gets a Whack
- LA Times Article: Recycling Centers Close, Eliminating 'green' Jobs
- KQED Public Radio: Beverage Container Recycling Woes
- Sacramento Bee Article: California Recycling Program is on the Rocks
- San Diego Tribune Article: Recycling Sites Face Shutdown Amid Budget Raids
- CAW Recycling News: Conservation Corps Call for Restoration of Bottle Bill "Loans"