Assembly Bill 1548 (Hart, D-Santa Barbara) is sponsored by RCRC to expand CalRecycle’s grant program to provide funding for other types of local recycling, edible food recovery, and reuse projects. 

CalRecycle currently provides grant funding for various types of projects for recycled material manufacturing and organic waste recycling.  Experience has shown that the program does not include funding for much needed local projects to sort, aggregate, and bale recycled materials to get them to the marketplace.  AB 1548 will open the door for local governments to seek funding from CalRecycle for small, yet transformative projects that may be cost prohibitive for smaller jurisdictions and yet are too small to qualify for funding under larger federal programs. 

Based on feedback from Santa Barbara County, AB 1548 also includes revisions to expand program eligibility to purchase equipment and construct facilities to develop, implement, and expand edible food waste recovery operations, as required under CalRecycle’s SB 1383 regulations. 

AB 1548 also seeks to replicate an innovative reuse program developed by Yolo County, which diverts items from landfill disposal for reuse by members of the public.  The program accepts bicycles, toys, sporting goods and equipment, clean wood, doors, windows, flooring, lamps, electronics, furniture, office supplies, cabinetry, tools, housewares, etc. AB 1548 will enable CalRecycle’s grant program to provide seed funding to help other local governments develop similar reuse programs that can find a second life for useful consumer goods and keep them out of the landfill. 

Finally, AB 1548 will ensure that CalRecycle can give equal consideration to projects that benefit impoverished communities that may otherwise be located in areas with cleaner air or water. 

RCRC’s letter in support of AB 1548 can be found here, but the bill has not yet been set for hearing by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. For more information or to learn how to get involved, please contact John Kennedy, RCRC Policy Advocate.