(BCN) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed off on changes to California’s bottle recycling law in a bid to bolster the state’s beverage container recycling program, reducing the amount of plastic and glass going into landfills and helping to stabilize the recycling market.
Senate Bill 353, introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, will add containers of 100 percent fruit juice and vegetable juice to the state’s bottle recycling law, putting another 200 million containers per year into the recycling stream, Dodd’s office said in a news release Saturday.
It would also invest new ongoing funding to support rural recycling options for consumers to redeem their deposit and improve recycling rates.
The bill also authorizes the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to adjust its processing of payment calculations for recyclers to a quarterly schedule rather than yearly, helping to stabilize the market.
Lastly, the bill improves transparency on recycling metrics and allows the department to make critical efficiency improvements.
“This is a big step toward cutting our state’s waste stream while uplifting our recycling program,” Sen. Dodd said in a statement Saturday. “This new law reduces the amount of recyclables we put into landfills, provides a financial lifeline to recyclers, and maximizes consumers’ options for redeeming deposits on beverage containers. Ultimately, it will help us meet our recycling goals. I thank the governor for his support.”
The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, established in 1986, encourages consumers to recycle beverage containers by requiring them to pay a deposit for eligible bottles.
Over the years, the program has been expanded to include soda, beer and wine bottles. However, it does not include larger or vegetable juice containers. According to Dodd’s office, the program has been plagued with volatile annual scrap valuations that threaten many recyclers in rural, underserved communities.
“This measure will increase consumer opportunities to recycle and get cash back on empty containers, by making common sense updates to the CRV program,” said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste. “All juice beverages, regardless of container size, will now have a refund, and recycling payments for new and existing recycling centers will be stabilized against scrap market fluctuations.”
SB 353 follows the Legislature’s passage of a bill authored last year by Senate President pro tempore Toni Atkins and Sen. Dodd to add wine and spirits containers to the program and make significant investments in recycling. SB 353, won overwhelming legislative support before being signed by the governor, Dodd’s office said.
“As the stewardship organization for plastic containers in California’s Bottle bill, we commend the senator expanding the bottle bill to include all juice bottles and to make the system more responsive to market forces,” said Sally Houghton, executive director of Plastic Recycling Corporation of California. “This will help get more containers recycled and turned back into bottles in a cost-effective manner.”
Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.