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September 5, 2007
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Sarah Mason at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) was named Legislator of the Year today by Californians Against Waste, a statewide organization dedicated to advancing waste reduction and recycling policy in California. 
“I appreciate the recognition,” said Simitian.  “I come from a district where the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ ethic is a part of our DNA.  In other parts of the state, however, there is still surprising resistance on these issues.”
The group highlighted Simitian’s authorship of legislation to establish the framework for a drug “take-back” program in naming him 2007 Legislator of the Year.  Simitian’s Senate Bill 966, introduced this year, helps ensure proper disposal of over the counter drugs and prescription pharmaceuticals by developing model programs for the collection and proper disposal of unused pharmaceutical drugs. 

There are currently few safe and convenient ways for consumers to dispose of unused over the counter drugs and prescription pharmaceuticals; and in turn, these medications enter either our water systems or our landfills.

Mark Murray, Executive Director for Californians Against Waste, noted that, “Senator Simitian is creative and determined.  He understands that we have to rethink our ‘use and toss’ culture.  Simply put, he gets it.  Equally important,” said Murray, “he’s an effective legislator who knows how to bring others along on a new idea.”

Californians Against Waste was founded in 1977 as a non-profit environmental research and advocacy organization that identifies, develops, promotes and monitors policy solutions to pollution and conservation problems posing a threat to public health and the environment.  Californians Against Waste is dedicated to conserving resources, preventing pollution and protecting California’s environment.

Californians Against Waste also noted Simitian’s timely and effective support for measures to manage the growing challenge of electronic waste (e-waste).  “As a Silicon Valley legislator,” noted Murray, “Senator Simitian has been a knowledgeable and authoritative leader on e-waste issues.  He’s been particularly helpful in addressing legitimate business concerns while supporting our efforts to tackle the problem aggressively.”
Simitian is the chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality and the Select Committee on Coastal Protection and Watershed Conservation.  He is also a member of two other committees that affect environmental policy: Energy, Utilities, and Communications, and Transportation and Housing.