Three-Part Test/Green Material Contamination

One of the current methods used in California for determining if a waste or material handling activity needs to be within the regulatory oversight of CalRecycle is the “Three-Part Test.” This test is designed to identify recycling centers that are not regulated by CalRecycle consistent with Public Resources Code Section 40200(b)(2).

A number of stakeholders provided testimony that the “Three-Part Test” does not adequately differentiate activities that handle material streams from commercial or multifamily dwellings. These material streams can be contaminated with food waste and other organic materials. The current regulations were developed based on informal surveys of recycling and waste handling facilities that had been established prior to 1996. Changes have occurred since 1996 in how materials are collected, handled, and processed. The current regulations may not fully address these changes, especially relative to new technologies, markets, and advances in science-based environmental and public health mitigation measures.

Status of 2010-2011 Projects

The report, “Study on Other States’ Regulatory Oversight of Waste and Material Handling Activities Relative to Recycling Centers, Transfer Stations, and Green Material Contamination,” contracted from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, is now available. Contact Martin Perez for more information.

Approach and History

Third-Party Research

In September 2008, the Board approved a contract for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo to research issues related to the “Three-Part Test.” The next steps in the project include:

  • Review contract report with stakeholders (Spring 2010);
  • CalRecycle staff develops draft white paper;
  • Stakeholder workshops; and
  • Final white paper with recommendations