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Ting Introduces Bill To Fix California’s Beverage Container Recycling Program

by ECT

California’s recycling program for bottles and cans is broken. As people find it more and more difficult to get their CRV deposits back, an increased amount of our recyclable waste is ending up in landfills. With California’s recycling rate dropping from 85% to 75%, the state can no longer put off solving this ever-growing crisis.

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced a bill, AB 1840, which intends to reform the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Program. Action on the first day back in the new year signals that Ting is making this critical issue a priority by leading the efforts to resolve the state’s recycling troubles.

“We can no longer kick the proverbial can down the road,” said Ting. “If California is to continue its leadership on the environment, we must deal with this problem that’s been in front of us for years.”

Ting will be working with several partners to further develop the bill’s language and shape reforms the recycling program needs. AB 1840 builds upon the work of AB 54, Ting’s urgency measure that took effect in October, enabling the state to launch five mobile recycling programs in areas severely impacted by the closure of CRV redemption sites. AB 54 provided a temporary fix until the Legislature reconvened this month to work on a path toward saving California’s recycling system.

Legislative action this year is imperative, especially since rePlanet shuttered its remaining 284 California recycling centers last summer. rePlanet was once California’s largest recycling company, operating about 20% of the redemption centers in the state. But a significant decrease in the scrap value of aluminum and recycled plastics hampered their ability to stay open – even after the firm closed 191 centers in 2016 to cut costs. Exacerbating this problem are international market conditions, as countries around the world, most notably China, have imposed stricter standards on the types of waste materials they will purchase.

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