Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Two, Vetoes Two

Resource Recycling E-Newsletter

As the 2010 California legislative session reached its end, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed legislation that would have expanded recycling to all apartments and businesses and changed the labeling of plastics in the Golden State. The Governator also signed bills that will require manufacturers of paint and carpet to fund and establish state-wide programs for the recovery of both materials.

While much of the spotlight during the last legislative session focused on the failed effort to ban plastic bags in the state, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 737. The bill would have expanded recycling to every commercial establishment and multi-family residence. However, it was vetoed by Schwarzenegger after push-back from apartment owners and other business interests.

Senate Bill 1454 would have expanded California's prohibition on the sale of plastic bags or beverage containers labeled "compostable" or "biodegradable" that do not meet ASTM degradability standards to all plastics sold in the state. The bill passed the legislature with support from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, which pointed to concerns that the labels are used to mislead consumers, and that the introduction of degradable plastics into the generally recycling stream could affect the quality of end-products. However, the bill also met the governor's veto pen.

Schwarzenegger did sign AB 1343, a law that will require manufacturers to fund and manage a recycling program for used paints. The legislation is meant to take the financial burden off local governments in California that have been left to pick up the tab for providing drop-offs for used paints, while increasing their rates of recovery. It goes into effect in 2012.

AB 2398, also signed by the governor, will establish the country’s first industry-financed carpet recycling program. The law, which goes into effect July of next year, will require manufacturers to pay 5 cents per square yard of carpet sold in the state. The money will be used by each manufacturer, either individually or through a group, to implement a plan with the state to recover carpet.

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