The California Senate has approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would divert more solid waste from landfills by expanding the types of beverage containers that can be recycled and by improving bottle collection services. “Bottle recycling rates have dropped sharply in California over the past decade,” Sen. Dodd said. “With my bill, we can turn that around and become a conservation leader once again. I thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this effort.”
Senate Bill 451 would bring much-needed improvements to the state’s more than 30-year-old Bottle Bill Program. In recent years, it has suffered by declining recycling rates and the closure of recycling centers. Recycling rates have dropped from 85% in 2013 to 76% in 2018. Glass container recycling has declined to 66%. The problem has worsened with the coronavirus pandemic.
SB 451 would expand the eligibility of recycling to wine and spirits bottles. It also would launch a pilot collection program aimed at increasing the bottle recycling rate to 80%. Additionally, it would enhance industry stewardship of recycling efforts.
The bill, which passed the Senate late Tuesday on a unanimous vote, is supported by Elders Climate Action, the California Association of Local Conservation Corps, the National Stewardship Action Council, the Wine Institute, the American Beverage Association.
“The California wine industry prides itself on the being a world leader in sustainability and is consistently working to find appropriate ways to more effectively recycle wine containers and further integrate those containers into the Circular Economy,” said Tim Schmelzer, Wine Institute vice president of California state relations. “We have found that the principles embodied in the pilot program created by SB 451 have merit and will inform California policy makers as to effective ways to improve recycling in this state.”