May 22- CalRecycle Initiates Ambitious Recycling Dialogue


The California state agency CalRecycle has unveiled a new white paper "California's New Goal: 75% Recycling" on how CA can reach a 75% recycling rate by 2020.

The paper is meant to be a conversation starter for how to meet the ambitious target set by the enactment of Assembly Bill 341 (Chesbro), which Governor Brown signed into law last year. In addition to the 75% target, AB 341 also requires all businesses, institutions and multi-family dwellings to establish recycling and/or composting program by July this year.

According to Recycling International, CalRecycle's Director Caroll Mortensen said this will yield ‘legislature concepts for legislative change and a vision of a new paradigm for solid waste management’.

Some highlights of the plan:

  • Expand the Bottle Bill. CalRecycle recommends adding all ready-to-drink beverages (except for milk, medical food and baby formula). CAW is strongly in support of this.
  • Phase-out the landfilling of organics: CalRecycle suggests banning the disposal of some organic materials and getting rid of the "diversion credit" given to organic materials used a cover at landfills will be a key element of reaching the AB 341 goals.
  • The report also recommends: increasing commercial recycling, funding and streamlining permitting for domestic recycling infrastructure, increasing state agency use of recycled materials, funding waste tire recycling incentives, banning the disposal of cardboard, targeting wasteful packaging, and promoting local zero waste efforts.

In addition, the agency says that maintaining recycling success ‘requires stronger markets’ relating to overall recycled material as well as recovered material. CalRecycle is soliciting public input and will host a series of recycling-specific workshops and ‘webinars’ over the coming 18 months.

According to Nick Lapis, CAW's Legislative Coordinator, ‘There are a lot of bold elements in the plan, and a lot of things that we have been suggesting for a long time are included here. "


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