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August 30, 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 cleared a significant hurdle making it off the Senate floor and heading to the Governor where it’s expected to be signed before the 12-day deadline. 

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

Assembly Bill (AB) 1187 contains two key provisions that should boost recycling rates for household hazardous waste (HHW).  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 the right approach.”

Simitian’s measure had 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, AB 1187 closes a loophole that exempted non-registered haulers of used tires from penalties for violating used tire-hauler ordinances.