California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several waste and recycling bills into law Sept. 16 as part of a broader legislative package the state says is its most aggressive action on climate change to date.
The bill package includes updates to state incineration rules, battery recycling programs, organic waste diversion efforts and about 40 other climate initiatives.
“Later is too late to act on climate change. California isn’t waiting any more,” Newsom said in a news release.
Among the waste and recycling-related bills is AB 1857, which repeals a part of state law allowing jurisdictions to count up to 10% of the waste sent to “transformation” facilities toward a 50% diversion requirement. It also creates a Zero-Waste Equity grant program for projects that reduce reliance on incineration. These initiatives could affect California’s two remaining incinerators: Covanta, which opposed the bill, operates the Stanislaus County facility as well as a publicly owned facility in Long Beach.
Newsom also signed two bills meant to make battery drop-offs easier and reduce collection vehicle and recycling facility fires. AB 2440 establishes an extended producer responsibility program for most batteries. SB 1215 adds battery-embedded products to the state’s e-waste program, meaning consumers will begin paying a disposal fee when they purchase applicable products starting in 2026.
The governor also signed AB 1985, which delays enforcement penalties for jurisdictions to meet their organic waste procurement targets set out in SB 1383. Bill sponsors say the legislation will give local governments more time to ramp up infrastructure needed to meet the goals. It also allows renewable gas procured from a publicly owned treatment works to count toward a jurisdiction’s procurement target until 2025.
Newsom previously signed a minor update to the state bottle bill, SB 895, that updates definitions and requirements for nonprofit convenience zone recyclers to allow a longtime recycling center, Grey Bears, to continue to operate.
The governor has also vetoed AB 2784, a bill that would have set recycled content standards for thermoform food containers, due to concerns about how it could related to the state’s upcoming extended producer responsibility law.
Multiple other recycling and waste bills addressing plastic produce bag bans and bottle bill updates have been presented to the governor and await his signature.
|Bill Number||Highlights||Bill Status|
|SB 54||Creates an EPR program for printed paper and plastic packaging and sets recycling rates and reductions for plastics||Signed by governor|
|SB 1013||Expands container redemption program to include wine and distilled spirits||Passed|
|SB 38||Exempts certain manufacturers involved in container redemption program from new state recycled content requirements||Passed|
|AB 1857||Repeals provision of law that allows jurisdictions to count up to 10% of the waste sent to waste-to-energy facilities toward their 50% diversion requirement||Signed by governor|
|AB 2440||Establishes an extended producer responsibility program for most batteries||Signed by governor|
|SB 1215||Adds battery-embedded products to the state’s e-waste program||Signed by governor|
|AB 661||Updates the State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign with new recycled content standards for materials purchased by the state of California||Passed|
|AB 2784||Specifies recycled content standards for thermoform plastic food containers||Vetoed|
|SB 1046||Bans plastic produce bags||Passed|
|AB 1985||Delays enforcement penalties for organic waste procurement targets||Signed by governor|
|SB 895||Updates definitions and requirements for nonprofit convenience zone recyclers||Signed by governor|