Multiple 'bottle bills' aiming to revamp CA's recycling system move through Senate

Michael Finney Image
Sunday, June 6, 2021
'Bottle bills' aiming to revamp recycling system in the works
The bill would put those who make money off of bottles, beverage makers and distributors, in charge of recycling them.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Beverage container recycling in California has now fallen to new lows. Many areas are now "recycling deserts" where it is all but impossible to return your containers and get your deposit back. Now, after years of trying to fix the bottle deposit/recycling problem, it looks like California is on the edge of moving forward.

State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), has moved legislation off the floor of the senate that would blow up the recycling system we have now and start all over again.

RELATED: Vanishing recycling centers prompt new bill making beverage industry responsible for bottles, cans

"We care about the haulers, we care about the distributors, we care about the manufacturers; that's all important to our economy," Sen. Wieckowski said. "But at the end of the day, it's the voters, it's the constituents that we have our number one obligation."

His bill would put those who make money off of bottles, beverage makers and distributors, in charge of recycling them.

It potentially takes big money away from waste haulers and that has caused some concern, but there is agreement something has to change.

RELATED: Recycling basics: Expert tips for recycling properly

Among those voting for the bill is State Senator out of Napa, Bill Dodd. He has passed a bottle bill of his own this week. His bill brings wine and spirit bottles into the program.

"I want to shout out to the wine industry and the spirits industry for stepping up to the plate," Sen. Dodd says. "What we're going to attempt to do here is to have a product stewardship council so you'd have private businesses running the program."

RELATED: Recycling centers shut down, leaving consumers unable to redeem bottle deposits

Sen. Wieckowski voted for Sen. Dodd's bill as well and both say they can work together. There is another bottle bill still to be heard in the senate and another in the assembly as well. If all four pass it will be challenging to put them all together, but not impossible.

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