The Department of Finance has proposed a series of draconian cuts in funding for local recycling programs, including reducing expenditures for local governments, non-profits and private recyclers by $120 million annually and the elimination of almost $40 million in market-based payments to recyclers.
Last year, Californians recycled a record 16 billion containers, pushing the recycling rate up to 74%. This growth in recycling, combined with a proposal by the Governor to ‘loan’ roughly $132 million in beverage container recycling funds to the state’s General Fund, has substantially diminished the amount of ‘unredeemed’ funds historically available to help offset the cost of local recycling programs.
Californians Against Waste (CAW) has prepared a joint proposal with local governments, recyclers and others that maintains core recycling program priorities, while closing loopholes and extending the successful recycling incentives of the program to roughly 2 billion additional beverage containers sold annually. The CAW proposal will reprioritize expenditures to strengthen recycling while balancing revenues and expenditures. Features of the CAW Alternative include:
- Increase recycling and program revenue by closing loopholes and expanding scope of program coverage to include additional beverage containers.
- Increase efficiency and reduced administrative costs by merging the program with the California Integrated Waste Management Board under CAL EPA.
- Reduce and eliminate non-essential and poor performing discretionary grant programs.
- Partially reinstate processing fee provisions to require beverage producers to pay a greater share of the net cost of recycling their containers.
- Maintain priority recycling funds for local governments, conservation corps, and recycling market development.
Take Action! Send a letter to the Budget Conference Committee telling them you oppose the DOF proposal.