Just one week after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation to expand recycling and eliminate a more than $200 million hole in the beverage container recycling fund, the administration's Department of Conservation has announced that, effective November 1, all ancillary program funds will be eliminated. This includes funding for local governments, curbside recycling, local conservation corps, and more than 1100 supermarket-based recycling centers.
While no new budget data was provided, the Department says the cuts are necessary due to high recycling rates (rates to be announced later) and a roughly 5% drop in beverage sales.
However, even at an 80% recycling rate, the fund would continue to generate in excess of $200 million in surplus funds for program administration and supplemental recycling programs. The real culprit would appear to be the more than $250 million that has been transferred from the recycling program to help close the State Budget shortfall.
Stay tuned for more details.