California lawmakers have passed an ordinance that would require recycling facilities to stack their recyclables and dispose of them at least 20 miles away from where they are found.
But as they seek to cut the state’s $2.8 billion recycling backlog, they have failed to include a measure that would help local municipalities tackle their own waste problem.
House Bill 471 was introduced in the state Legislature last month by Assemblywoman Michele Fiorentino, D-Long Beach, and Rep. Anthony D. Romero, D/C, who chairs the Assembly Environmental Quality Committee.
The bill would require that all new and existing recycling facilities must collect recyclable material and transport it to the nearest landfill within 30 miles of where it is located.
If a recycling facility is not collecting recyclible material within 30 days, it would be subject to penalties for failing to comply.
The state currently requires recycling facilities in Los Angeles County to collect and recycle only about 25 percent of recyclibles they collect.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the city is spending about $1.2 million annually to collect more than 200,000 tons of recycles and recycle the rest to the landfill.
The measure would require the city to spend $20 million annually on new and improved recycling facilities and $200,000 annually on existing facilities.
The Los Angeles City Council is considering a measure to increase the amount that cities are required to spend on recycling by $50 million over 10 years, and a similar measure in San Francisco would increase the cost of recycling by nearly $100 million.
The legislation has drawn fierce criticism from recycling industry leaders and recycling advocates.
But the legislation is not expected to pass the Assembly.