AB 479 Solid waste diversion

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 8, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Another bill to increase solid waste diversion requirements, AB 479 (Wesley Chesbro, D-Eureka), was passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and was heard in Appropriations where it now sits on the Suspense File.

The bill would increase the diversions for local jurisdictions to 60 percent by 2015 and impose commercial recycling requirements on California’s businesses. AB 479 gives the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) broad general authority to impose programs to achieve a statewide solid waste diversion rate of 75 percent by 2020.  CIWMB could impose regulatory requirements on individuals, businesses and government entities. The authority given to CIWMB under AB 479 would not be limited to the regulation of business entities. If necessary, the CIWMB could impose any number of costly regulatory requirements on the citizens of California and local governments.  Implementation of an extended producer responsibility program could be placed into effect.

Included in AB 479 is a commercial recycling mandate that will result in different local jurisdictions having different rules. Many other problems will arise. Crowded urban environments may not have sufficient space for businesses to store and collect recyclable materials. Businesses located in remote locations may not have access to competitive marked and would be forced to pay a higher amount for compliance.

Nearly all of California’s local jurisdictions have met and surpassed the original 50 percent diversion requirement.  Statewide, the average diversion rate is 58 percent, making California the nation’s leader in managed solid waste. California should remain focused on job creation and economic expansion to bring the unemployed back to work and increase tax revenues for state and local government.  AB 479 will instead increase costs on businesses, create new burdens on limited local government resources, and act as an impediment to economic recovery.

CMTA is fighting hard against this misguided proposal.  Our goal is to convince lawmakers to hold it on the Appropriations Suspense file.
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