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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Recycling Laws

The following is a sampling of California laws that have driven recycling programs.

AB 939 (1989)
CA Integrated Waste Management Act

Mandated local jurisdictions meet solid waste diversion goals of 25 percent by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) determines how diversion rate is calculated and reported. To help in the increase of diversion rates, each jurisdiction was required to create an Integrated Waste Management Plan; see the Sonoma County Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan

AB 2020 (1987) California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act aka "The Bottle Bill" and AB 3056 (2007)
AB 2020 took effect as litter prevention legislation. AB 3056 raised the redemption value of qualifying beverages to 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.

SB 20 (2003) Electronics Recycling
Established a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes. Fees are collected from consumers at point of purchase to fund collection and recycling programs.

AB 2901 (2004) Cell Phone Recycling
Requires retailers selling cell phone take-back used cell phones for recycling.

AB 1125 (2006) Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act
Requires retailers of rechargeable batteries take-back spent rechargeables from their customers.

The California Universal Waste Law (2006)
The California Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) adopted new regulations for universal waste, deeming them to be hazardous to people and the environment.  Universal wastes include a wide range of items such as batteries, fluorescent lamps and other mercury containing products, and some electronic devices that contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper and other hazardous substances. Universal waste may not be discarded in solid waste landfills.

AB 32 (2006) California Global Warming Solutions Act
Sets goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The bill requires that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, which represents a 25% reduction from current levels, and has an ultimate goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. Visit the State’s climate change web site for more information.

AB 2449 (2007) Plastic Bag Recycling
Requires most supermarkets and large retailers with pharmacies to take back and recycle plastic grocery bags. The bill also requires retailers to provide consumers with education about bag reuse.

AB 2347 (2008) Mercury Thermostats Collection Program
This bill enacts the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008 and requires a manufacturer who sold mercury-added thermostats before January 1, 2006, to establish and maintain a collection and recycling program for out-of-service mercury-added thermostats.

AB 3025 (2008) Polystyrene Loose-fill Packaging
This bill prohibits, after January 1, 2012, a wholesaler or manufacturer from selling, or offering to sell expanded polystyrene (EPS) loose-fill packaging material ("packaging peanuts") in California, unless it meets requirements to contain specified amounts of recycled material. Ultimately, the bill requires EPS loose-fill packaging to be comprised of 100 percent recycled material by January 1, 2017.

AB 341 (2011) California's Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law
This bill's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring recycling in the commercial sector. Specifically subject to the law are businesses, non-profits, strip malls, government offices and schools that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of waste per week. Also subject to the law are multifamily complexes with five (5) units or more. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has the authority to implement AB 341.


Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403