LOS ANGELES, CA — Flanked by advocates and executives representing the environment, waste removal and apartment management, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) urged the governor to sign his Renter’s Right to Recycle Act in order to make paper, plastic and can recycling available to California’s seven million apartment residents. “Recycling is part of life but many renters can’t recycle unless they haul their waste to a recycling center,” said Blumenfield.
“By signing this bill, the governor will ensure that renters have a convenient way to recycle. This will unleash the power of millions of small, every day acts into a powerful force for our environment. Renters, recyclers, and apartment executives see the virtue of the bill, and I hope the governor does too.” Assembly Bill (AB) 818 requires the owners of multifamily housing with five or more apartments to provide recycling services to tenants starting next year. Blumenfield authored similar legislation in 2009, which was vetoed by former Governor Schwarzenegger, despite Blumenfield’s success in addressing concerns from apartment owners.
“Too many Angelenos can’t recycle where they live,” said Mike Young, an associate with the California League of Conservation Voters. “Expanding apartment recycling is essential for Los Angeles to meet its recycling goals, reduce our reliance on landfills, and create green jobs.” Nearly 35 percent of Angelenos live in apartments. Each year, Los Angeles County generates 23 million tons of waste and recyclable materials and over 10 million tons of waste is sent to landfills. The City of Los Angeles is responsible for one-third of the waste volume, with businesses and apartment complexes creating approximately 70 percent of the total.
In 2007, the City of Los Angeles sought to become a zero waste city and set ambitious recycling goals: 70 percent recycling rate by 2013, a 90 percent recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste by 2030. “More recycling equals more jobs for this community,” said Doug Corcoran, Director of Recycling at Waste Management. “We are opening a new recycling center soon to meet the growing demand for more recycling services.” “Many Los Angeles residents who live in multi-family housing want access to recycling services,” said Ryan Minniear, Executive Director, California Apartment Association, Los Angeles Division.
“This bill offers a reasonable framework for apartment owners and managers to make these services available to their residents.” Seventy percent of Californians living in single family homes have access to residential recycling. In contrast, fewer than 40 percent of Californians living in multifamily dwellings have such access, which contributes to the lackluster recycling rate of 15 percent at apartments. AB 818 is supported by a range of environmental organizations, cities, and counties. It passed the Assembly on Monday with a 50-26 vote following a 24-12 Senate vote last month. Additional information is available at leginfo.ca.gov.