ZWAC

Zero Waste Advocacy

The Zero Waste Advocacy Committee (ZWAC) is NCRA’s action arm to strive towards zero waste. We encourage communities to incorporate waste reduction, reuse, recycling, salvaging, and composting as the principle parts of their discard management systems. We advocate long-range policies that facilitate these practices. We try to rock the boat NCRA style.

ZWAC Objectives

  • Track legislation, primarily California State Senate and Assembly Bills, pertinent to recycling and discards management. See http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Laws/Legislation/PriorityRpt/.
  • Assess, formulate and recommend policy positions on key California Legislature Bills.
  • Write letters to governing agencies to express support or opposition on matters of concern.
  • Join or bring legal action if warranted.
  • Collaborate with California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA), Californians Against Waste (CAW), and other such organizations on common policy interests.
  • Be on alert for local community waste and recycling matters or important legal issues deserving of attention.
  • Expand campaigning and outreach for the NCRA positions.

Senate and Assembly BillsNCRA Positions

NCRA’s support positions on current State Bills typically coincide with those stated by Californians Against Waste. To minimize duplication of effort, please refer to http://www.cawrecycles.org/legislation/current/support for details. Any significant deviations from CAW’s positions will be noted here.

The following three Bills have been passed by the Senate and Assembly, and signed into law by Governor Brown. NRCA had written letters to Gov. Brown urging his signature for passage of each.

  • SB 270: Compromise bill that will ban single-use carryout plastic bags and charge a fee for other bags throughout California, starting July 1, 2015.
  • AB 1826: Requires commercial businesses to recycle eight cubic yards of organic waste per week, starting Jan. 1, 2016, and generators of 4 yards per week, starting Jan. 1, 2017.
  • AB 1594: Will disallow the current use of green waste as Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) in landfills, starting Jan. 1, 2020.

The following bill remains in the legislature.

  • AB 1021: Provides financial assistance in the form of sales tax exemption on equipment purchases to businesses that process or utilized recycled feedstock. Support.

ZWAC Projects and Topics

The following first four priority projects have received the greatest interest among NCRA Members in January 2014, followed by the remaining list of topics, and are awaiting committee formations:

  1. Increased Recycled Content in Consumer Goods.
  2. Extended Producer Responsibility (also known as Product Stewardship).
  3. Keeping Organics Out of Landfills (a/k/a KOOL campaign).
  4. Every Other Week Garbage Collections (EOW).
  • Illegal dumping, discouragement and enforcement.
  • CalRecycling/AB341/75% Recycling Plan – getting to 75% statewide.
  • California Air Resource Board (CARB) Scoping Plan.
  • $30M for recycling/composting in Government’s budget.
  • Cal EPA Environmental Education Institute (EEI)—want NCRA member to look through text and see if pro-landfill and advocate recycling against landfilling.
  • Grocery stores closing down buybacks, lack of convenience zone recycling.
  • CalRecycle to no longer accept CRV/non-CRV mixed loads.
  • Measuring the effects of waste reduction/recycling on climate change.
  • Stronger definition of a “reusable” bag.

NCRA Accomplishments

  • Helped write and pass Alameda County Measure D landfill charge for programs.
  • Litigated to settlement limits on Waste Management’s desired expansion of the Altamont Landfill.
  • Filed amicus brief in landmark California Supreme Court Case: Waste Management of the Desert v. Palm Springs Recycling.
  • Supported fee for service recyclable collection in amicus briefs in City of San Marcos v. Coast Waste Management, Woodfeathers v. Washington County, AGG Enterprises v. Washington County, Pleasant Hill Bayshore Disposal v. Chip-It Recycling.
  • Appeared at public hearings on recycling issues in, among others, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, South San Francisco, Sonoma County, and the Alameda County Recycling Board.

Zero Waste Advocacy – Help Wanted

ZWAC is currently understaffed to do all that needs doing. We need NCRA members to join this committee and take part in these important efforts. Meetings are few and far between as we communicate mostly by email, so you won’t have another meeting to go to. If you are interested in joining or staying informed, email jmoore@hennetzel.com and we will make sure to include you.