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AB 1311 Expands CalRecycle Bottle Bill Recycling Program

The bill increases the ability of consumers to redeem their California Redemption Value deposit

By Chris Micheli, October 6, 2021 7:14 am

Assemblyman Jim Wood. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

On October 5, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1311 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), related to recycling. Section One of the bill adds Section 14503.5.1 to the Public Resources Code to provide a definition of “bag drop recycling center,” which means a recycling location operated by a recycling center at which consumers can drop off bagged empty beverage containers for redemption.

Section Two of the bill amends Section 14514.4.1 of the Public Resources Code to make technical changes. Section Three of the bill amends Section 14525.5.1 of the Public Resources Code to technical changes.

Section Four of the bill amends Section 14538 of the Public Resources Code to add that a bag drop recycling center must pay the refund value for beverage containers within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three business days. The refund value may be paid electronically.

Section Five of the bill amends Section 14570 of the Public Resources Code to delete certain specified information on a sign about what every dealer must post at the public entrance to the dealer’s place of business to instead require the sign to be consistent with the new provisions of Section 14571.

Section Six of the bill amends Section 14571 of the Public Resources Code to make several changes to existing law. First, CalRecycle may require a certified recycling center to operate up to 50% of its hours of operation other than during 9am to 5pm. Existing law requires the center to operate 15 of its 30 hours of operation other than during normal business hours.

Second, CalRecycle may certify a recycling center that will operate less than 30 hours per week if “the needs of the community and the goals of this division will be best served by certification of the operation as a recycling center.” Third, a recycling center that is certified must post a sign with specified information contained.

Fourth, on or before July 1, 2022, CalRecycle must develop and implement a process for a certified recycling center to apply for authorization to operate on an alternative schedule. As part of this process, CalRecycle must include:

  • The form and content of the application required to be submitted by a certified recycling center seeking to operate on an alternative schedule, and the manner in which the application must be submitted.
  • The criteria used to authorize a certified recycling center to operate on an alternative schedule which must include specified information.
  • A minimum number of hours per week, per month, or per year that a recycling center may be open for business and still meet specified requirements.
  • Any other requirements CalRecycle deems necessary for a certified recycling center to operate on an alternative schedule and still meet specified requirements.

Fifth, until January 1, 2023, a certified recycling center or location that is not a reverse vending machine or a bag drop recycling center is “open for business” if the certified recycling center or location receives written authorization from CalRecycle to operate pursuant to an appointment system during the hours of operation and the certified recycling center or location meets specified requirements. CalRecycle is required to authorize a certified recycling center or location to operate pursuant to an appointment system only if CalRecycle determines that high customer demand, weather, or public health and safety concerns warrant the implementation of an appointment system at the certified recycling center or location.

Section Seven of the bill amends Section 14571.5 of the Public Resources Code to make technical changes. Section Eight of the bill adds Section 14572.1 to the Public Resources Code to specify that a dealer delivering empty beverage containers received from the public to a certified recycling center or processor for recycling is not subject to the daily load limits.

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