Monday, 25 January 2021

Key Senate Committee approves Wiggins' highway maintenance bill

SACRAMENTO – The powerful Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved a bill by Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) to encourage the use of environmentally-safe products in state highway landscape maintenance, setting the stage for a vote by the full Senate in the near future.

SB 697, which is sponsored by the California Refuse Removal Council, would require the state Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to assess the amount of compost, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, mulch and other products for erosion control that have been used over the past five years and report its finding back to the Legislature.

Wiggins’ bill also would require CalTrans to develop a 10-year plan to increase the use of environmentally-safe materials in the state’s highway landscape maintenance program while phasing out the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, organic materials comprise 30 percent of the waste disposed of in landfills.

Wiggins says the goal of her legislation is to stimulate markets for markets that can be diverted away from landfills and toward productive purposes.

“Compost is an effective erosion control, it provides the same benefits as other chemical products without the dangers of polluting while being environmentally safe,” Wiggins said.

She added, “My bill would create the first step toward ensuring that our state is utilizing existing resources and is effectively recycling compost in an efficient and environmentally sound way.”

For more about Wiggins' bills or to contact her office, visit


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