Governor signs Wiggins

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law Senate Bill 1016, legislation by State Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) that shifts the focus, from 50-percent diversion to 50-percent disposal reduction, of the current requirement that a local jurisdiction reduce its solid waste disposal over what it would have been given local growth factors.

Existing law, under the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, requires each city or county source reduction and recycling element to include an implementation schedule showing that a city or county must divert 50 percent of solid waste on and after Jan. 1, 2000.

The act also requires each city, county, or regional agency to annually submit a report to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) summarizing its progress in reducing solid waste, and requires the report to contain certain information (e.g., calculations of annual disposal reduction, information on changes in waste generated or disposed, progress in diverting construction and demolition waste material).

Wiggins served as a member of the CIWMB after being termed out of the Assembly in 2004, and prior to being sworn in as a member of the State Senate in late 2006.

According to the CIWMB, Wiggins noted, "California diverted more than 46 million tons of solid waste away from landfills into recycling, composting and transformation programs in 2005, for an estimated statewide diversion rate of 52 percent. Diversion has increased nine-fold since the Integrated Waste Management Act was passed in 1989."

Wiggins added that her bill is “intended to focus on disposal reduction and enhanced program implementation efforts."

According to CIWMB, the benefits of moving to a disposal-based system include: increases timeliness and accuracy; streamlines review by allowing jurisdictions that are in compliance to be reviewed every four years instead of every two; and, maintains allowances for rural jurisdictions.

The specifics of the bill, SB 1016, are as follows:

SB 1016 also revises the requirements relating to CIWMB review of each jurisdiction as follows:

A. For jurisdictions meeting the 50 percent equivalent per capita disposal rate, permits CIWMB to complete a review of the jurisdiction not less than every four years, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, rather than every two years, as required by existing law.

B. For jurisdictions failing to meet the 50 percent equivalent per capita disposal rate or failing to make a "good faith effort" to do so, permits CIWMB to complete a review of the jurisdiction not less than every two years, beginning Jan. 1, 2010.

C. Establishes a sunset for this provision on Jan. 1, 2018.

Finally, the Wiggins bill makes conforming changes to the provisions requiring state agencies and large state facilities to divert 50 percent of all solid waste.

Wiggins represents California’s large 2nd Second District, which includes portions or all of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.