California’s recycling program is failing

With recycling centers closing and Californians losing places to deposit their empty bottles and cans, the state is facing a question: What should be done, if anything, to save its recycling program?

More than 800 recycling centers that took in used bottles and cans and paid out nickels and dimes to customers closed over the last 3 years, recycling advocates say.

The state’s empty beverage container recycling rate fell below 80 percent for the first time since 2008, Cal Recycle said in its annual report last month.

The rates for other recyclable materials decreased simultaneously.

The recovering economy is partly to blame. However  incentives for recycling have lessened as oil prices dropped to less than half of what they were a couple of years ago. That meant it became less expensive to create new products than use recycled bottles and cans.

CalRecycle has proposed to reworking the state’s beverage container reycling program. It’s asking Gov. Jerry Brown to restructure processing payments and handling fees and have beverage manufacturers “share responsibility.”

The agency also proposed restructuring its relationship with city and county governments.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

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