Apr 16 - Calculating Recycling Rates Draws Confusion

A Civil Grand Jury released a report yesterday concluding that the method calculating the recycling rates in San Mateo County is flawed, making it impossible to know whether or not cities are meeting the state mandated 50% diversion requirements. The current method involves comparing the amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills each year to how much was sent to landfills in a "base year." Julia Scott of the San Mateo County Times reports.

The report blames a confusing method of calculating recycling rates utilized by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, which does not track the actual amount of recyclable materials diverted from Ox Mountain landfill. Instead, it relies on a complicated measurement scheme that compares how much solid waste ends up in the landfill each year to how much was sent to the landfill in a "base year" before a recycling program was implemented.

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