Thankful, yes. But Much to be Done.

As we prepare for a busy and challenging 2014, we’re looking back over 2013 with a sense of accomplishment. And we’d like to give you an update on what your support has helped us achieve:

Mattress recycling a reality:

There’s great news to report for consumers, local governments, and the environment. After two years of hard work, Governor Brown signed SB 254, the west coast’s first mattress recycling bill into law. It was coauthored by Senators Loni Hancock and Lou Correa and cosponsored by CAW.

You and your family now have a number of free recycling options when it comes time to replace your old mattresses. In addition, local governments will get some relief from the burden and cost of managing illegally dumped mattresses. Implementation of SB 254, which will be managed by a non-profit stewardship organization and overseen by a Recycling Advisory Committee, will begin in 2016.

More tire recycling:

The Governor also signed AB 513, another CAW-sponsored bill to increase tire recycling by expanding the market for Rubberized Asphalt Concrete projects. RAC is asphalt made with recycled tires, which makes it quieter and more durable than regular asphalt. More importantly, recycling tires helps reduce the number of tire fires that occur when waste tires are stockpiled. Instead of feeding fires that burn for weeks and create noxious smoke, more tires can be reused for projects in your community.

Single use plastic grocery bags:

This year we came so close to passing SB 405, a statewide bill to phase out plastic grocery bags, and we are even more determined than ever after this near win. We will keep fighting to get the last three votes we need. And we’re optimistic because the momentum keeps building as local governments keep taking action.

In 2013 alone, at least 31 communities adopted single-use plastic bag ordinances, bringing the current total to87 statewide. Now that LA City, the second largest city in the country, has adopted a bag ordinance, one-third of Californians will soon live in a community with an adopted bag ban. This is good news for our economy, our ocean and the marine life that call it home.

Senator Alex Padilla, who authored SB 405, has pledged to bring it back for reconsideration in 2014, and we’ll be working to support him throughout the process.

Recycling economy:

We sponsored AB 341 last year because we knew it would help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and create good green jobs. Recycling will be sustainable only if it continues to build a robust economy. This year, we’ve shared multiple reports with you that show even in tough times recycling continues to create jobs. And CalRecycle has projected up to 100,000 new jobs could be created as California keeps working to meet the 75% recycling goal set in AB 341.

Looking ahead:

While we really want to share and celebrate these accomplishments with you, we’re looking forward to doing even more in 2014.

We’ll continue working to implement our plan, Waste Not California. Just like you, we’re concerned about the extraction and processing of the planet’s virgin material resources to make more and more single use, litter-prone and disposable products and packaging. This practice results in the generation of massive pollution and waste long before these items reach the landfill or even the recycling bin.

When we reduce packaging and waste and make products from recycled materials, we substantially reduce the pollution, energy and waste associated with manufacturing.

Our goals:

  • Reduce human & environmental exposure to toxics by reducing and recycling hazardous products & material;
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions through source reduction and recycling;
  • Reduce water pollution and marine debris by reducing and recycling plastic litter and waste;
  • Continue to promote a robust recycling economy through the development of policies and incentives that create jobs.

How do you feel about our progress? Feel free to call or drop us a note anytime to share your ideas, questions or concerns.

Thanks for your continued support!