Jul 16 - Governor Appoints Environmental Champion To Lead CalRecycle

CONTACT: Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown has announced that he has appointed Scott Smithline to serve as the Director of the State’s Department of Resource Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle). 

Scott worked at the environmental organization Californians Against Waste from 2003 to 2012, prior to being appointed CalRecycle’s Assistant Director for Policy Development in 2012. 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Scott Smithline for 12 years, and I am confident that he will be the ideal leader as we start the next chapter of California’s efforts to find new uses for materials that we have historically discarded,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. “Scott possesses a truly unparalleled level of policy expertise, stakeholder awareness, and passion for recycling and environmental issues.”   

                       CAW staff and board members at CAW's 34th Birthday Event in 2011

                       CAW staff and board members at CAW's 34th Birthday Event in 2011

CalRecycle is charged with both regulating the state’s waste management industry and supporting efforts to increase recycling. The agency administers the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (Bottle Bill program), as well as programs for recycling electronic waste, tires, mattresses, and carpet, among other products that have proven to be hard to manage at the end of their useful lives. CalRecycle has over 700 employees and an overall budget of $1.3 billion, the vast majority of which is paid out to consumers, recyclers and recycled product makers as recycling incentives.

As director, Smithline will be responsible for implementing CAW-sponsored AB 341 (Chesbro, 2011), recently signed legislation that will increase California’s recycling goal to 75% by 2020, as well as new requirements for businesses and apartments to recycle both traditional recyclables and organic waste. In addition, the department plays a crucial role in meeting the state’s climate goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and supporting the reintroduction of recycled materials into the state’s manufacturing economy.

California’s efforts to conserve resources and reduce pollution associated with the more than 60 million tons of waste generated in the state annually faces a series of significant challenges and opportunities over the next 5 years. How we respond will determine whether ‘recycling’ in California is perceived as an affirmation of our state’s global environmental leadership, or the inexplicable exception.