July 17 2012

New California Recycling Law Mandates Landfill Diversion in Mammoth Lakes, CA

CalRecycleEveryone wants to recycle, but what would you do if it was mandatory?

California Bill AB 341, directed by CalRecycle, will go into effect on July 1, 2012 and will require commercial recycling within California state limits. The Town of Mammoth Lakes is providing education and outreach in an effort to help the community adjust to the new lifestyle. While the Eastern Sierra region of the state is known for its natural beauty, its relative seclusion and rural nature have made recycling difficult in the past. AB 341 will make living in and visiting Mammoth Lakes a more contemporary experience, in terms of sustainability.

The ultimate goal of the bill is to increase statewide recycling rates to 75% by 2020. Not only will businesses and public entities, such as Los Angeles, CA, be required to recycle depending on how much waste they generate by week, but multi-family buildings that have five or more units will also be required to recycle. According to CalRecycle, commercial waste generates three-fourths of the waste in the state.The Town of Mammoth Lakes, California is taking steps to help small businesses and multi-family residences adjust to the new standards and divert 50% of solid waste from the local landfill. The Town currently offers the following recycling programs:

• Commercial cardboard recycling;

• Restaurant and bar programs;

• Lodging and hospitality programs;

• Business recycling;

• Multi-family/Apartment recycling;

• Office recycling;

• Residential recycling;

• Aluminum, plastic, and glass;

• E-Waste;

• Used oil and batteries.

Sierra Conservation Project is working on a grant-funded program to make recycling more accessible to the many multi-family residences in the Eastern Sierra. This collaboration between the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Sierra Conservation Project, and CalRecycle will provide recycling infrastructure at no cost for a limited time.

The purpose of the bill is two-fold. On one hand, the state wants to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by diverting solid waste from landfills. On the other hand, California needs to push for the expansion of recycling opportunities, services, and facilities. Other benefits include job creation and natural resource recovery which are important to both urban planners and environmental non-profits.

Mandatory recycling in Mammoth Lakes can benefit the economic development of the area by enhancing the Town’s branding for environmental design.

Do you think mandatory recycling laws are an effective way to make recycling a normal part of everyday life?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Patricia Kent

Patricia Kent wrote for The GRID between October 2011 and October 2012. During this time she was a graduate student in Community & Regional Planning with a concentration in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She was also a recent transplant to Mammoth Lakes, CA. Her interests ranged from political theory and public policy to sustainable tourism. A strong advocate for participatory planning practices, her studies focused on community capacity building and economic development. She believed in fostering entrepreneurship in communities. Currently, Patricia is working on economic sustainability policies that benefit both the preservation of the Eastern Sierras as well as the ever-increasing tourist population.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 at 6:59 pm and is filed under Branding, Community/Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Housing, Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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