SACRAMENTO – A bipartisan majority of the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation today approved legislation sponsored by Californians Against Waste (CAW) that would create a sales tax exemption for recycling and composting equipment. Assembly Member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) authored AB 199 to help California’s recycling industry create high-paying jobs and process more of the state’s recyclable materials, instead of shipping them overseas.
“We don’t have to accept the tired, old way of thinking that business and the environment are necessarily at odds,” said Assembly Member Eggman. “AB 199 will reward innovative businesses that provide both economic and environmental benefits, and will reduce the export of waste, allowing in-state companies to reap the benefits and aid the development of nascent green industries in California.”
“California’s commitment to recycling has diverted millions of tons of recyclables per year, cut greenhouse gases, and created 125,000 jobs over the past two decades,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for CAW. “However, most of what we continue to send to landfills is readily recyclable or compostable. By collecting, processing and manufacturing these materials into new products in the state we can support a sustainable and prosperous California economy. Assembly Member Eggman understands that entrepreneurs, workers and local communities are critical in this effort and we applaud her leadership.”
AB 199 would provide a sales-and-use tax exemption for recycling equipment or equipment that uses recycled content in the manufacturing of new products. According to CalRecycle, California exports 20 million tons of recyclables annually, worth nearly $8 billion. Keeping more of these valuable materials here would allow Californians to share in both the environmental and economic benefits of their recycling efforts.
According to CalRecycle, for every ton of materials that gets recycled instead of being disposed, California’s 5300 recycling establishments will pay an additional $101 in salaries, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales. Furthermore, CalRecycle estimates that meeting the state’s recycling goals with in-state infrastructure could generate an additional 110,000 jobs, on top of the existing 125,000 people employed in recycling.
As California strives to achieve its ambitious recycling goal (AB 341, 2011) of recycling 75% of the solid waste it generates by 2020, an estimated 22 million tons will have to be collected diverted from the state’s waste stream.
AB 199 now goes to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.