Inspired to Think Big on this Historic Day

I want to report to you on several hot issues we’re tracking as we kick off the new year, but first I want to thank everyone who helped make our year-end fundraising effort a success.

While we fell just short of our year-end budget goal, we did raise more than $34,000 in December, and we’re already off to an excellent start in 2009. If you have not yet had a chance to contribute, I hope you will take a moment and make your tax deductible online contribution today.

The Path to Zero Waste. CAW is working with Assembly Member Wes Chesbroon a comprehensive package of legislation that will both dramatically increase the state’s waste reduction and recycling goals, while designating the California Integrated Waste Management Board with both the responsibility and the authority for getting us there. Among the key features:

Recycling, Green Jobs & the Environment. Much as the country has become strategically and economically vulnerable due to our dependence on foreign sources of energy, California’s potential for Zero Waste and expanded recycling is being jeopardized by our dependence on overseas market’s for the utilization of recycled materials. The diversion of tens of millions of tons of waste from California> landfills has been a worthwhile environmental achievement, but the true environmental and economic potential of this change can only be realized and sustained when we have redirected these secondary materials to manufacturing. 

Reducing Human & Environmental Exposure to Toxics by Reducing and Recycling Hazardous Products & Materials. While we are working on a legislative proposal to establish the state’s responsibility and authority to assign extended producer responsibility for problem products and materials, there are some toxic disposables that demand our immediate attention. To address these, CAW will be introducing legislation this session targeting the following:

  • Expand California E-Recycling Law: Expand existing successful computer monitor and TV recycling law to include all electronic devices. This also includes establishing a free and convenient recycling system for fluorescent lighting while reducing the use of hazardous materials and increasing lamp life.
  • California RoHS: Phase out the use of toxic materials in consumer electronics.
  • Used Motor Oil: Eliminate Recycling Incentive Payments for used motor burned as fuel, while establishing incentives for recycled content in automotive and industrial lubricants.

These are the broad brush strokes, and we are anxious to have your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at: For the latest updates on these and other priority legislative proposals, and what you can do to help, check back frequently to

As always, we need your support, both to persuade the legislature to pass critical new recycling legislation, but also your financial contributions to help maintain our presence in Sacramento.

Thank you for your support and attention.


P.S. I was truly inspired this morning by the Inauguration Address of Barack Obama. Here is a link to the text of the speech.