California Carpet Update, 2/2018

By Joanne Brasch, PhD, Special Project Manager, California Product Stewardship Council
On October 14, 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 1158, legislation sponsored by the National Stewardship Action Council, an affiliate of the California Product Stewardship Council, which made significant changes to the Carpet Stewardship program goals and structure. The new legislation required CalRecycle to appoint a Carpet Stewardship Program Advisory Committee to provide recommendations on carpet stewardship plans, plan amendments, and annual reports. All documents, including meeting agendas and minutes, are available on the official Advisory Committee web page. After several long and productive meetings, the Committee sent a letter on February 12, to CalRecycle and the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) outlining their comments and recommendations on the draft carpet stewardship plan proposed submitted on January 8, 2018. In the letter, the committee provided 21 recommended changes to the draft plan, listed in priority order.

The committee followed protocols to comply with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as they discussed and voted on each recommendation, ensuring transparency and giving the public opportunity to comment. These recommendations aim to expand the carpet recycling program in California to provide adequate program funding, improve recycling infrastructure and subsidies, and drive markets for carpet materials. The committee requested the author of AB 1158, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, to provide clarification regarding his intent for the definition of recyclability. The author’s definition was incorporated into a new, more comprehensive metric of recyclability, which includes measurements of carpet deconstruction and material separation, ease of collection, cost-effectiveness, post-recycling material performance, and toxic components. Assemblymember Chu’s letter of intent for the definition of “recyclability” will in turn affect the grant and subsidy program, which by law prioritizes products that have the highest recyclability to ensure the carpet stewardship program incentivizes greener design.

CARE has until March 16 to resubmit an amended stewardship plan to CalRecycle, which will then review and develop staff recommendations on whether the plan should be approved at the May 15th public hearing. If anyone would like to get involved, there will be more opportunities for the public to provide comments and questions. The public can email to get on the committee’s listserv and CPSC funders can email to be added to the carpet listserv.

Help us hold the carpet industry to a much higher recycling standard for California!

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