SACRAMENTO — A bill more than doubling the redemption rate on recyclable beverage containers was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee.
The measure, which was sent to the Appropriations Committee, would raise the redemption rate from the current 1 cent per container to 5 cents for two containers.
The bill, authored by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara), is an attempt to improve consumer response to the state's 18-month-old recycling program. With a minimal 65% recycling goal, the Department of Conservation reported in March that recycling of beverage containers between July and December of 1988 reached only 57% for aluminum, 33% for glass and 5% for plastic.
Hart argued that a stronger financial incentive is necessary for California recycling to be a success. His bill would take effect Jan. 1, 1990.
Goals of Program
Under the bill, two beverage containers would be worth a nickel, and the larger, 24-ounce plastic containers would be worth a nickel each. With an 80% recycling goal, any type of container that failed to reach 65% recycling by Jan. 1, 1993, would be worth a full nickel each. The large plastic containers would be worth a dime.
"We might see plastic surpass glass in this new configuration," said mark murray, policy Representatives from Anheuser-Busch, Adolph Coors Co. and the California Grocers Assn. testified in support of the measure, despite their previous opposition to recycling/bottle bills. The primary reason industry leaders support Hart's bill, Murray said, is to avoid a potential initiative by Californians Against Waste that would raise redemption rates to 5 cents per container.
Hart said he is confident that his bill will win the two-thirds support of both houses necessary for passage.
"I think we have a powerful coalition here," Hart said. "It's going take someone to throw something into the gears to throw this off track."