4 new laws pushing California toward its 2020 recycling goal
- In an attempt to push California to its recycling goal of 75% by 2020, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law four bills affecting the industry:
- AB 1045 requires state entities to work together on composting, and avoid red tape.
- AB 876 requires local governments to make a 15-year plan to build infrastructure for composting and anaerobic digestion.
- AB 199 creates a sales-and-use tax exemption for businesses on the purchases of equipment used for recycling and composting, and equipment that processes recycled materials.
- AB 888 bans personal care products containing plastic microbeads — such as toothpastes, soaps and shower gels — that are designed to be rinsed down the drain.
California continues to lead the U.S. in its dedication to recycling. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) estimates that meeting the 75% goal would generate 110,000 jobs, on top of the 125,000 that already work in the recycling industry.
As an assist to cut landfill shipments, AB 199 would slash millions in sales tax for recycling companies and reclaimers, providing opportunities for the industry. Regarding AB 876, the state Air Resources Board has set a goal of "effectively eliminating disposal of organic waste at landfills" by 2025 to prevent landfill methane emissions. This initiative would take food waste collection to a whole new level and could be a model for other states.
And California joins Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, and Maryland in enacting legislation to ban the use of microbeads. Similar bills are pending in other states, including Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon.