California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

2001 Annual Report: Executive Summary

The Integrated Waste Management Board started its journey in 1990 following passage of the Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939, Sher, Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989). This legislation set a lofty stage for a series of statewide reforms in waste management: establishing the 50 percent diversion goal for local government, based on an integrated waste management hierarchy that prioritized waste reduction and recycling over all other options; inspiring the reduce, reuse, recycle ethic; enhancing public outreach programs and environmental curricula in schools; and improving landfill safety requirements.

The following summaries provide a brief overview of this year's key accomplishments. Use the menu items to the left to access the full report.

Strategic Planning
A new strategic plan adopted by the Board in November 2001 describes a significant shift from the Integrated Waste Management Act diversion goals to a broader, more systematic approach to managing the materials used and created in manufacturing. It identifies key areas such as sustainability, zero waste, product stewardship, and manufacturer responsibility that the Board will address over the next three to five years; and includes a strong commitment to environmental justice.

Waste Diversion
Using the Board’s most recent estimates, California diverted over 42 percent of its waste from landfills in 2001. While short of the 50 percent goal, the statewide diversion rate is still increasing, a tribute to the Board's strategic targeting of organics and construction and demolition materials in the waste stream.

Local Agency Progress Towards 50 Percent Diversion
Local jurisdictions reported their year 2000 diversion rates in the fall of 2001. The Board will begin its consideration of local progress towards the 50 percent diversion required by Public Resources Code (PRC) section 41780 in early 2002. Of 439 reporting jurisdictions, 140 (32 percent) claimed diversion rates in excess of 50 percent, and another 60 (14 percent) reported diversion rates of 45 percent or more. Many others are updating their overall analysis of waste generation and diversion, and will submit updated diversion estimates to the Board. Most other jurisdictions are continuing to make progress towards the 50 percent level, and the Board anticipates that most of them will request a time extension, which is allowed by PRC section 41820.

School District Diversion
The Board developed a model materials-and-solid-waste management program for school districts and other institutions in 2001. This project selected six pilot districts, evaluated each district’s materials management and solid waste practices, and provided program recommendations to all.

In the fall of 2001, the Board helped school districts implement proposed recommendations from the school district diversion project. The effort targeted school district administrators and department managers through their professional associations and organizations. The outreach plan promoted the value and benefits of implementing districtwide waste reduction and green procurement policies. A Web-based resource guide for school district waste reduction program implementation will follow in early 2002.

State Agency Diversion
Assembly Bill 75 (Strom-Martin, Chapter 764, Statutes of 1999) required State agencies to develop and prepare integrated waste management plans and to submit them to the Board by July 15, 2000, for review and approval. These plans identify State agency programs to achieve a 25 percent diversion level by January 1, 2002, and 50 percent by January 1, 2004. Over 450 State agency plans have been submitted to the Board and are under final review.

The Board put on a series of six workshops in 2001 to train State agencies on the annual reporting requirements of the diversion program. These workshops focused on the electronic submittal system the Board developed to make compliance with the law easier and more efficient.

State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign
The State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) is a joint effort between the Board and the Department of General Services (DGS) to implement California law requiring State agencies and the Legislature to purchase recycled-content products (RCP). Each year agencies report their recycled-content purchases to the Board. Reports for fiscal year 2000–01 show $260.3 million in total reportable purchases, of which $216.7 million was spent on RCPs. This is a dramatic improvement over the fiscal year 1999–2000, when $210.8 million in total reportable purchases and $167.2 million in RCP purchases were reported. That increase in total RCP purchases, accomplished over a one-year period, indicates that State agencies are embracing recycled-content product procurement practices with good success.

Environmental Education
Chapter 926, Statutes of 2001 (SB 373, Torlakson) codified the new Office of Integrated Education created in early 2001 by the Board. The bill requires the office to undertake a variety of activities to institute environmental education concepts in California schools.

  • In concert with the State Board of Education, establish environmental concepts in the science frameworks through the California Education Code.
  • Establish an environmental ambassador pilot program that promotes sustainable school programs, coordinated instruction with on-site action programs, service learning partnerships, and assessment of the impact of these programs on student achievement and resources conservation.
  • Develop and implement a unified education strategy on the environment for elementary and secondary schools.
  • Develop a teacher-training plan for the unified education strategy and accompanying materials.
  • Develop models and school waste reduction tools.
  • Evaluate implementation of school waste reduction and recycling programs in California schools.
  • Create a grant program for schools and school districts to implement integrated environmental education and integrated waste management practices.

To achieve the unified education strategy contained in SB 373, the Office of Integrated Education will align the education efforts of other CalEPA boards, departments, and offices into an integrated, cohesive education program. The program will provide maximum resource efficiency and begin looking at a “systems approach” to our educational services and products.

Electronics Waste
Widely regarded as the fastest growing component of the municipal waste stream, discarded electronic products—e-wastes—are presenting both challenges and opportunities to government and industry. Increasing e-waste generation is due to advances in technology, reductions in price, and the general pervasiveness of electronic products in modern life. An estimated half-billion computers in the U.S. may become obsolete and require disposal options within the next five years.

While regulatory issues associated with hazardous materials used in the manufacture of computers, monitors, and other gadgets are being revisited by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Board has established an electronics Web site to provide up-to-date information to local governments and California residents on how to safely manage these materials.

In 2001, the Board commissioned a baseline study to assess the scope of the issue and the development of procurement and end-of-life management guidelines. The baseline study estimated that more than six million potentially hazardous old computer monitors and televisions are now being stored in California homes, and identified a gap between the current processing capacity for these products and the projected volume of their diversion in 2006.

In 2001, the Board focused on three major areas to address e-waste:

  • Participating in the National Electronic Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI).
  • Collaborating with DTSC on regulations and outreach to affected groups.
  • Developing information on reuse, recycling, and disposal options for e-waste to address local government needs and presenting that information on the electronics Web site.

Recycling Business Loans
Financial barriers stymie full market development for salvageable goods in California and deeply concern the Board. Funding worthwhile projects is a goal that continues to attract Board attention. During 2001, the Board funded recycling market development loans to seven recycling businesses totaling $4.2 million. Approximately $8 million remains available in the Board’s fiscal year 2001–02 budget for new loans.

Best Management Practices for Compostable Materials
Composting activities are an important step in the Board’s goal to get California to reduce and recycle organics in the waste stream. Staff continues efforts to coordinate with industry, local enforcement agencies (LEA), and local and State government agencies in developing best management practices (BMP) and odor mitigation measures to satisfy the requirements of SB 675 (Costa, Chapter 778, Statutes of 1997). Odor-based BMPs integrate feedstock handling with composting methods to promote a greater degree of aerobic activity. Operators have contributed valuable insights with their varied operations.

Waste Tires Five-Year Plan
In March 2001 the Board approved the five-year plan for its waste tire recycling management program required by SB 876 (Escutia, Chapter 838, Statues of 1999). The plan includes the following elements, with funding allocations and performance criteria for each:

  • Enforcement and regulations on waste and used tires storage.
  • Cleanup, abatement, or other remedial actions of tire stockpiles.
  • Research on alternatives to the landfill disposal of tires.
  • Market development and new technology for used and waste tires.
  • The waste and used tires hauler program and manifest system.

The main focus of the waste tire program in 2002 is to implement provisions of the five-year plan addressing staffing needs, managing various contracts, implementing priorities for cleanup set in the plan, and awarding and administering grants under the six grant programs.

Household Hazardous Waste Grants
In June 2001 the Board awarded $3 million in fiscal year 2000-01 household hazardous waste grants to 16 local governments. This funding helps local agencies deal with the proper management of household hazardous wastes. Priority was given to grantees proposing permanent collection facilities. Three million dollars also will be available as competitive grants to local governments in 2002.

Used Oil Opportunity Grants
In October 2001, the Board approved the used oil opportunity grants scoring criteria and evaluation process for fiscal year 2001–02. The scoring criteria examine local governments' need for a project, proposed methodology, evidence of a recycled-content purchasing policy, and a detailed budget proposal. Preference will be given to grantees that did not receive funding in the last opportunity grant cycle (fiscal year 1999–2000); and to those planning to establish or expand collection programs for used oil and/or filters from curbside, boaters, or agricultural sources, or establish oil collection/education programs for non-English speaking and/or underserved populations. Approximately $5.8 million will be available; the Board expects to award the grants in April 2002.

Used Oil Block Grants
The Board awarded $11.4 million to local jurisdictions in 2001 to implement used oil collection and recycling programs. These noncompetitive grants are based on population and available to all California cities and counties.

Enforcement Assistance Grants
In 2001 the Board provided $1.5 million in enforcement assistance grants to help LEAs implement enforcement programs. This is an annual allocation intended to assist the LEAs in procuring the needed training, tools and resources to fulfill their certified enforcement responsibilities to the Board.

Local Enforcement Agency Training
More than 200 participants attended the 5th Annual LEA/CIWMB Partnership Conference in August 2001. Discussion focused on a variety of topics including coordinated enforcement strategies, the future of e-waste management, regulation of conversion technologies, and permitting tools available to LEAs to deal with solid waste handling issues.

The Board also provided basic compost training to interested Board and LEA staff in July (Riverside and San Diego counties), August (south San Francisco Bay counties), and November 2001 (southern San Joaquin Valley counties).

LEA Evaluations
The Board completed 13 LEA evaluations in 2001 for the City of Los Angeles and the counties of Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Glenn, Madera, Mariposa, Marin, Napa, Nevada, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, and Sutter/Yuba. The Board will monitor LEA compliance with work plans that address performance issues identified in evaluations for the following jurisdictions: Alameda County, Imperial County, San Benito County, Tulare County, and San Luis Obispo.

LEA Outreach and Issue Research
Outreach efforts by the Board to benefit LEAs continue in 2002. Board staff is working with sister CalEPA agencies, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and university contacts on various issues, including examining potential bio-aerosols in composting, sudden oak death, and avian and animal product composting.

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Last updated: October 23, 2002
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