Governor Signs Aguiar-Curry Bill to Clean Up Recycling and Reduce Environmental Pollution at Home and Overseas

Friday, August 30, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA – AB 815 authored by Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 815 encourages local governments to increase curbside separation in their recycling programs, often called “dual-stream recycling,” to reduce contamination in the recycling stream.

“When we throw all of our recyclables into the same bin, glass breaks, leftover soda spills on copy paper, and many recycled materials become too dirty to be reused. We used to send our contaminated recyclables to China, polluting land and water overseas, but China won’t take it anymore. AB 815 will keep our recyclables cleaner and more marketable so they can actually be turned into new products,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry. 

Several foreign countries have largely stopped importing U.S. recycled material because of contamination.  This bill is necessary to improve the quality and marketability of recycled materials, which will reduce the amount of these materials that are stockpiled, landfilled, or burned at home or overseas. It can also make recycling cheaper overall, because higher quality recyclables are more marketable for reuse and can be manufactured into new, higher-value, products.

“It seems the future of marketing recyclables in California is going to depend on our ability to reduce contamination and deliver cleaner material to processing plants,” said James Iavarone, Manager of Mill Valley Refuse Service. Mill Valley Refuse Service recently conducted a pilot project on dual-stream recycling. The report on that pilot is here.

AB 815 garnered bipartisan support throughout the legislative process. The measure will take effect on January 1, 2020.

Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.