Regulatory Oversight of Recycling Operations

Project Summary: This study was conducted to evaluate regulatory schema of other states and to provide comparisons for use by CalRecycle for oversight of recycling operations.  The specific objectives of the project were: to analyze waste and material handling activities in other states that have been successful in operating with little or no environmental or public health and safety impacts; to provide descriptions of other states models and methods that can be adopted to California; and to provide recommendations for models and methods and best management practices for potential revision of existing regulations and adoption of new regulatory schema.  The results of the study provide support to a staff-driven review of current regulations.  The analyses conducted for the investigation consisted of detailed description of the models, methods, and best management practices used in other states; how the models and methods are applied in other states; and recommendations specifically applicable to California with regard to recycling regulations including potential adoption in California and effects on current infrastructure.  Regulatory models for recycling exist in other states that extend beyond the current regulatory requirements in California.  The recycling regulations in California are generally in line with regulations of other states both in terms of content and level of strictness.  However, duration limits are enforced for storage of putrescible materials and stricter quantitative thresholds for residual content are present in other states.  Recommendations are provided for recycling regulations as well as the impact of the proposed recommendations on the current recycling infrastructure in California. 

Principal Investigator: Jim Hanson, Nazli Yesiller, and Sam Vigil

Funding Agency: California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)  

Hanson, J. L., Yesiller, N., and Vigil, S. A., (2010), Study on Other States’ Regulatory Oversight of Waste and Material Handling Activities Relative to Recycling Centers, Transfer Stations, and Green Material Contamination, Final Report, DRRR-2010-003, CalRecycle.  [Download pdf]

Yesiller, N., Hanson, J. L., and Vigil, S. A., (2010), “Assessment of State Recycling Regulations in the United States,” Proceedings, 2010 Global Waste Management Symposium, Penton Media, p. 1-8. [Download pdf]