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October 9, 2001

For More Information, Contact:
Jamille Moens at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that his Assembly Bill 1187 was signed into law by the Governor.  The new law contains two key provisions that should boost recycling rates for household hazardous waste (HHW). 

Simitian observed, “if you want somebody to do something, you need to make it easy for them to do it.  This law makes it even easier for Californians to recycle household hazardous waste.” 

The first provision will allow used oil recycling centers to collect more than 20 gallons of used oil from an individual provided the collection center has received permission from the Department of Toxic Substances Control.  The second provision will allow a substantial increase in funding for the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s local government HHW grant program.  The current program cap is $3 million dollars; the new cap will be $5 million dollars, upon appropriation in the annual budget process.  In each of the past six years the grant program has been oversubscribed by at least 100%.

In 1999, about 35 million pounds of household hazardous waste were collected by local governments; but collecting and recycling household hazardous waste is an expensive proposition for local governments.  The typical cost per car at a mobile collection event is about $100.

Simitian previously served as Chairman of the Santa Clara County Pollution Prevention Committee as well as the County’s Solid Waste Management Commission.  His experience convinced him that, “The State needs to be a partner with local governments if we’re going to be successful in cutting our waste in half and disposing of hazardous materials in an environmentally friendly way.  I’m optimistic we can get there, but only if we take a savvy approach.”

The new law has strong support from the environmental community, including Bill Michel, Chair of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club, who observed that “This is a practical tool to prevent the degradation of our environment – the kind of every-day action we can take that really makes a difference.”

In addition, the law closes a loophole that exempted non-registered haulers of used tires from penalties for violating used tire-hauler ordinances.