California Integrated Waste Management Board just announced the state has reached an unprecedented 58 percent waste diversion rate - diverting 54 million tons of trash for reuse and recycling.
By finding higher and better uses for our daily discarded materials, California has created a mainstream industry that accounts for 85,000 jobs, generates $4 billion in salaries and wages, and produces $10 billion worth of goods and services annually. The environmental impacts of recycling are astounding. Each year recycling saves enough energy to power 1.4 million California homes, and reduces water pollution by 27,047 tons.
Recycling also saves 14 million trees and helps to reduce air pollution by 165,142 tons. All of these efforts are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to taking 3.8 million passenger cars off the highway.
The official 58 percent statewide diversion rate surpasses a legislatively imposed mandate of 50 percent waste diversion and places the state at the forefront of national efforts to reduce and recycle our trash.
CAW and Recycling:
- AB 939 (Sher)- established 50% diversion goal by 2000.
- CAW's 10 Point Plan for Protecting Our Environment and Creating Green Jobs --includes goal of "Zero Waste California", and assigning California Integrated Waste Management Board responsibility for achieving 75% waste reduction, recycling and composting by 2020.