California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed an expansion to the state’s bottle bill that supporters say will bolster a struggling system of redemption centers.
SB 353, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Dodd, directs CalRecycle to update the formula it uses for processing payments to redemption centers. To calculate values, the system currently uses a 12-month average of scrap values from the prior year, with a minimum three-month lag.
“This undermines the economic viability of centers at times when payments do not compensate centers enough if scrap prices quickly drop, resulting in shortfalls,” said the Container Recycling Institute, a supporter of SB 353, in a statement thanking Newsom for signing the bill into law.
Now, CalRecycle will use a formula that bases processing payments on average scrap values from the prior three months. CRI anticipates this will help more redemption centers stay in business, after the state has seen more than half of its locations close in the last 10 years.
SB 353 will also expand the program to add containers for 100% fruit and vegetable juices, which CalRecycle estimates will cover upward of 223 million new containers. Among various other changes, the bill also establishes $60 per ton “transportation, operations, and logistics payment” that the state will give to rural recycling centers managing glass, which could last until 2030.
In addition to CRI, numerous recycling companies and related groups supported the bill, including Republic Services’ Western Region, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ West Coast Chapter, Allan Company, EDCO Disposal, Rethink Waste and Strategic Materials, among others.
This was the last notable waste and recycling bill for Newsom to act on this session. He recently vetoed multiple waste and recycling bills, while approving a right-to-repair law for consumer electronics.