Carpet Controversy Showdown in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On April 18th, CalRecycle, California’s agency for recycling, faces off with the Georgia-based carpet industry on how they manage carpet wasteWaste consists of unwanted and thrown away goods that often still have value as fuel or raw material.. California consumers pay a $.25/square yard fee for the industry association, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), to implement recycling.

“CARE has collected over $27 million from California carpet buyers, yet has barely increased recycling,” explains Miriam Gordon, with GAIA, an organization dedicated to ending waste incineration and promoting zero waste. “Meanwhile, the industry has dramatically increased incineration, which releases harmful toxic chemicals in low income communities. The State needs to reject CARE as the stewardship organization since it has misspent consumer dollars by failing to achieve the program’s modest recycling goals.”

Heidi Sanborn, with the California Product Stewardship Council, is working to fix the program in 2017. “The carpet industry has twice submitted plans that are supposed to fulfill a minimal legislative goal of “continuous and meaningful improvement.” Increasing recycling rates from 8% to 10% since the bill passed in 2010 does not meet that low bar standard.  If consumers knew this, I think they would feel ripped-off.”

At the CalRecycle hearing on April 18th, the Director will consider staff recommendations to reject the CARE plan for the next five years and could levy fines of $10,000/day per company. CalRecycle has already filed an accusation to fine CARE almost $3.3 million for failing to meet 2013-15 goals.  The days of giving consumer fee money to producer run programs may be in the past if there’s not enough authority given to the state agencies like CalRecycle to ensure producers do what is best for California’s fee payers, businesses, and local governments.

More Info: GAIA


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