Posts Tagged: recycling
Environmentalist Heidi Sanborn.(Photo: Screen capture via YouTube, from California insider)
California recently approved three sweeping environmental laws: SB 54, SB 343, and AB 1201. Hopefully, this game-changing legislation will shape national policy about recycling, composting, plastic pollution, and human health. We have many people to thank for the recent measures to reduce plastic pollution and increase plastic recycling, but we citizens rarely know who. Heidi Sanborn is one of those people.
A woman pours the contents of an in-house compost unit into a larger outdoor container. (Photo: Electric Egg, via Shutterstock)
By expanding California’s existing legal definitions of compostability and biodegradability to cover more products than plastics, and by creating more specific, safer definitions, the single-use disposable products that companies label as “compostable” will now actually biodegrade into safe, usable organic matter. This package of environmental legislation transforms the rules around environmental marketing claims and continues California’s move toward a truly sustainable economy.
A dog eyes a trove of dumped plastic containers in Moorpark, Calif. (Photo: Alexandra Bilham, via Shutterstock)
Approximately 85% of single-use plastics in California never get recycled. By standardizing and clarifying the labeling of recyclable waste, California’s new law aims to align manufacturing standards with state regulations in order to increase the amount of plastic material that actually gets recycled.
The Thermalito Power Canal in Oroville, Butte County. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: California is flush with cash and staring down a thirsty future. According to the EPA Needs Survey and Assessment, our state needs $50 billion in infrastructure improvements to ensure safe drinking water for everyone. Our unprecedented state budget surplus and drought-induced water use restrictions make it clear: Now is our chance to modernize our water systems, and we must act with urgency.
A crane with a claw digs into a mound of scrap metal at a recycling yard. (Photo: oneSHUTTER oneMEMORY, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The recent push by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to adopt “emergency” regulations to impose “hazardous waste” rules on the state’s metal-recycling plants would have the potential to shut down a vibrant recycling industry.
Material collected for recycling at a facility in Costa Mesa. (Photo: TonelsonProductions, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The California Legislature is considering a bill by State Senator Ben Allen that would prohibit a broad spectrum of packaging and consumer products from being labeled with the familiar “chasing arrows” recycling symbol or any other information deeming it recyclable, based on stringent criteria.
Metal scrap awaiting recycling. (Photo: TonelsonProductions, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The state is at it again. This time, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is attempting, in an end-run around the normal regulatory process, to impose “emergency” harsh and unjustified new rules on the metal-recycling industry — the one aspect of California’s troubled recycling sector that is still going strong. Why? Because they believe they can, I guess.
Recycle bins behind a supermarket in Scotts Valley, Calif. (Photo: Michael Barajas, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Every year during the end-of-session debates in the Legislature, bills that had previously stalled suddenly get new life. Sometimes, it’s the result of a grand bargain struck to advance long-held policy objectives. Other times, it’s the result of public pressure created by an emerging crisis.
Workers installing a roof-top solar panel array. (Photo: lalanta71, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: On Jan. 1, California became the first state in the nation to require solar panels on all new homes up to three stories high. The unique mandate was approved last year by a state agency, the California Energy Commission. Meanwhile, just down the street in Sacramento, another state agency, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, is intent on designating the same solar panels that will be used to comply with the solar-power requirement as “hazardous waste.”
A big claw crane drops scrap onto a pile. (Photo: llucky78, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Imagine if a government agency required nurses to endure the same costly and lengthy training as surgeons. Such overreach would result in fewer nurses and the demand for such skilled labor would reach a crisis. While this extraordinary overreach is not occurring in the health care industry, it is when it comes to California’s regulation of the scrap metal recycling industry.