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How A State Lawmaker’s New Proposal Could Address California’s Recycling Crisis




Circuit boards ready for processing at Isidore Recycling.
Circuit boards ready for processing at Isidore Recycling.
Charles Castaldi/KPCC

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More than half of California’s recycling centers have closed in the past six years, creating a crisis for recycling in the state.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 45 of LA County’s 88 cities no longer have recycling centers. Many consumers now struggle to find places to cash in recyclables. Historically, drink distributors have had little involvement with the way their products are discarded. But with Senate Bill 372, which a state Senate committee will hold hearings on this week, the industry’s involvement may be radically reconsidered. The legislation would reform the “Bottle Bill,” a thirty-year-old law that put a 5- or 10-cent bounty on most cans and bottles, by in part requiring beverage manufacturers (rather than retailers, who currently shoulder the burden) to take the lead on building a revitalized container recycling program for consumers.

Today on AirTalk, we check in with local stakeholders and learn more about the future of recycling in California.

We reached out to several stakeholders in the beverage industry, including the American Beverage Association. We did not receive a response in time for air. We will update this segment if we receive a response.

Guests: 

Susan V. Collins, president of the Container Recycling Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Culver City that provides research and advocacy for waste reduction and recycling initiatives

Jeff Donlevy, general manager of Ming’s Recycling facility in Hayward, CA