CAW Recycling Advocate - Vol. 2 No. 5

Rick Best (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:54:34 -0500

CAW Recycling Advocate
April 23, 1997 Volume 2. Number 5.
For More Information: Call Rick Best, Californians Against Waste - (916)
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Bottle Bill Expansion Wins Committee Approval

On Monday, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee approved a measure to
expand those containers covered by California's beverage container
recycling law.

Assembly Bill 1512, by Assembly Member Kevin Shelley (D-San Francisco),
would add containers for non-carbonated soft drinks, waters, juices, and
teas to the state's 10 year-old container recycling law. The existing
program only covers containers for beer, wine coolers and carbonated soft
drinks and waters.

"California has made a commitment to cutting waste in half by the end of
the decade," said Shelley. "Less than 20 percent of the 2-3 billion
containers used for these beverages are currently being recycled. The
recycling incentives in this legislation will help ensure that 60 to 80
percent of these containers are recycled by the year 2000.

Since 1991, 79 percent of containers included in the program have been
recycled. At the same time the recycling rate for glass containers not
included in the program is only 21 percent, and the rate for plastic
containers not included is less than 10%.

AB 1512, which passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 7-3
vote, was supported by a broad-based coalition that included local
governments, private and non-profit recyclers, curbside providers,
organized labor and environmental groups. It will face a much tougher test
in the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it must heard by May 30.

SUGGESTED ACTION: Write a letter to the members of the Assembly
Appropriations Committee telling them you strongly support AB 1512. For a
sample letter, list of committee members or more information E-mail or call
Mark Murray at: (916) 443-5422.

State Facility Recycling Bill Moves Forward

AB 705, a bill to require state agencies to comply with the 25% and 50%
diversion requirements passed Assembly Natural Resources Committee on
Monday by a vote of 11-0. The bill now moves on to Assembly Appropriations

Passage of the bill through the Legislature seems achievable. The real
test will be the Governor's office, since a similar bill was vetoed by
Governor Wilson in 1992. Fortunately, many local governments are now
actively supporting AB 705 and the proposal has been simplified to address
his prior concerns.

DOC Study Calls for Gutting Bottle Bill

A new study paid for by the State Department of Conservation (DOC) proposes
elimination of the Processing Fee and Curbside Program funding as part of a
comprehensive scheme to eliminate beverage manufacturer responsibility for
container recycling.

The study, Recycling 2020: Towards Improving California's Beverage
Container Recycling Program, was prepared by the NewPoint Group, Global
Futures, and Lynn Scarlett of the Reason Foundation.

Among the study's core recommendations:
- Elimination of processing fees;
- Elimination of the requirement that retailers maintain a recycling center
within one-half mile of their store;
- Elimination of $5 million in curbside payments;
- Elimination of $7.5 million in local conservation corp funding;
- Elimination of $2.5 million in local government and non-profit grants;
- Elimination of $18.5 million in convenience zone funding.

The proposal does call for the use of unredeemed deposits to be paid to
oldline and convenience zone recyclers as a "recycling dividend". No
dividends would be paid to curbside programs.

Overall, the proposal would result in the net reduction of more than $40
million annually to recyclers and local governments. The net savings to
beverage producers will equal about two-tenths of one cent per container sold.

"This proposal takes California's recycling efforts in the wrong direction,
eliminating the program's market-based provisions, and requiring millions
of dollars in beverage container costs to be subsidized by taxpayers and
local governments," said CAW's Mark Murray.

The recommendations in the study are expected to amended into Senate Bill
1157 (Maddy), which is currently pending in the Senate Natural Resources
Committee. CAW will provide a more detailed analysis in the next issue of
The Recycling Advocate.

SUGGESTED ACTION: Write a letter to DOC Director Larry Goldzband, urging
him to reject the recommendations and work with recyclers, local
governments and environmental groups to expand California's existing
market-based program. Write:
Larry Goldzband, Director
Department of Conservation
801 K Street, M.S. 24-01
Sacramento, CA 95814