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​Coalition seeks urgent changes to Beverage Container Recycling Program to increase convenience of consumer redemption opportunities

February 10, 2021
The League of California Cities, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), the Rural Counties’ Environmental Services Joint Powers Authority (ESJPA), and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) submitted a letter to the Legislature this week urging prompt action to make several urgent changes to the Beverage Container Recycling Program to address the lack of convenient redemption opportunities in many parts of the state.
With the closure of many certified recycling centers, “convenient” beverage container redemption opportunities do not exist for many Californians in rural and even urban areas. Statewide data from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) illustrates the lack of recycling centers, with five or fewer recycling centers in 31 of California’s 58 counties. 
Without convenient redemption opportunities, the Beverage Container Recycling Program can easily become a regressive tax that disproportionately impacts lower-income Californians. These concerns are even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic when many Californians are already struggling to make ends meet.
The letter recognizes CalRecycle’s recently suggested eight emergency legislative actions to increase the convenience of redemption opportunities and recognizes that many of those ideas will meaningfully improve the state’s beverage container recycling efforts and redemption opportunities. In addition to CalRecycle’s suggestions, the letter details nine recommended actions to benefit local governments.
The suggested actions will help to quickly increase the number and convenience of redemption opportunities in rural and underserved areas of the state. If you have any further questions, reach out to Cal Cities Legislative Representative Derek Dolfie or Policy Analyst Caroline Cirrincione.

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