Thank you 2018 Recycling Update Sponsors!


GOLD: San Francisco Department of the Environment, City of Vallejo, StopWaste, City of Napa, Napa Recycling & Waste Services, R3 Consulting, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, ReThink Waste, City of Fremont

SILVER: HF&H Consultants, Ecology Center, Marin Sanitary Service

BRONZE: City of Livermore, City of Stockton, Pleasanton Garbage Service, PSSI/Stanford Recycling Center, Amador Valley Industries, CRRA, Recycle for Change, South San Francisco Scavenger, CRRC-Northern District, RecycleMore, RecycleSmart, SCS Engineers, SureClose

AB 319 Passes ASM NR Committee, Full Court Press for Full Assembly

The “Connect the Cap” (formerly “Leash the Lid”) bill, AB 319 (Stone), passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee January 8, 7 Ayes – 3 Noes, and now it’s going to the Assembly Floor! Please let your Assembly representative  know you support of this groundbreaking effort to reduce plastic pollution and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of birds and animals. For the AB 319 Toolkit visit the Albatross Coalition or click the logo above. Click here for the 2017 AB 319 Fact Sheet.

By John Douglas Moore, Co-Chair, NCRA Zero Waste Advocacy Committee
AB 319 has passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee to the full floor where it must pass by January 31. This bill failed to make its way through last year. CAW believes that the bill is likely to fail in the Assembly again this year unless some votes switch sides.

Experience suggests that a phone call to a legislator, which is logged by the office as “for” or “against” is more effective than emails and letters, especially form letters or online petitions.

Please call and register your support for AB 319. Below is a list of the greater Bay Area assembly members and the phone numbers for their district offices. Feel free to also contact legislators from outside the Bay Area. An online roster can also be found at

Greater Bay Area Assembly Members

Catherine Baker, 925 328-1515
Marc Berman, 650 691-2121
Rob Bonta, 510 286-1670
David Chiu, 415 557-3013
Kansen Chu, 408 262-2501
Susan Talamantes Eggmann, 209 948-7479
Timothy Grayso, 925 521-1511
|Ash Kalra, 408 277-1220
Marc Levine, 707 576-2631
Evan Low, 408 446-2810
Kevin Mullin, 650 349-2200
Bill Quirk, 510 583-8818
Tony Thurmond, 510 286-1400
Philip Ting, 415 557-2312

Survey of CRV Redemption Operators, June 2017, 2


In the July we started the Buy Back Operator interview series highlighting Community Conservation Centers aka the Berkeley BuyBack. The interviews were conducted by Doug Brooms in collaboration with Dan Knapp, Ph.D., Urban Ore, Inc. Our subject this month is Aaron Metals Company of Oakland. But first let’s address the purpose of the interviews.

California lost about 35% of its redemption centers in the last four years. According to CalRecycle, the State agency that oversees recycling, during the past 12 months since April 2016, another 140 collection centers have closed. Now there are only 1,692 statewide. In Alameda County, 28 redemption centers remain, of which 6 are in Oakland. The erosion of businesses and jobs, the drop in resource recovery and the inconveniences to consumers of having fewer redemption centers are no longer tolerable.

Nonprofit recycling advocacy organization, Californians Against Waste, has requested a survey of Bay Area recycling centers that return Container Redemption Value (CRV) deposits to the public. They are working to understand the impacts both on businesses and on local communities. They will use the information gathered first to understand the impacts, and then to inform decision-makers in Sacramento who are working on reversing these closures. The information will also be used to inform the public. We want to make each interview into a very short informative story that people can relate to.

NCRA News Editor Portia Sinnott has turned the interview format into a draft on-line survey and has asked Doug Brooms, Dan Knapp and the NCRA Board to authorize her to survey the entire state. One may think the passage of the current Bottle Bill Fix may render the survey unproductive, but to the contrary it will provide baseline data by which to measure progress.

Aaron Metals Company
Aaron Metals Company is a family owned business spanning three generations over 41 years. They operate walk and drive-in operations in East Oakland and in Hayward. Their bread and butter remains scrap non-ferrous metals, with CRV redemption as a more recent adjunct. In Oakland when pickup trucks arrive, their scrap metal pieces are tossed into different wheelbarrows having marked tare weights, then rolled onto the scale for quick processing and payments. The premise is tidy with neat colorful bales of scrap wire stacked against a perimeter fence, with forklifts moving about. A three person office is located towards the rear.

The interview began with son Aaron, and later joined by father Paul. Their scrap metal business has remained steady over the years, whereas the CRV sector has seen a downward trend. Most Bay Area residents don’t so much care about their nickels and presumably opt for the more convenient curbside recycling cart. Nearly all of the walk-in business comes from the less fortunate, who bring in bags of collectibles to convert to ready cash. They are situated in a CIS-Mixed Zone with nearby housing. Complaints are infrequent, maybe every few years having to defend a nuisance complaint using a pricey lawyer.

The CRV business has not been a money maker for them. Paying out for plastics #1 and #2 is fine. State reimbursements take only 2-3 weeks after invoicing. However they absorb the loss with occasional plastics #3 – #7, given the difficulties of selling to processors. Consideration is being given to de-certifying their Hayward CRV operation. Having to handle uncommon CRV stuff and glass is not worth it.

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