Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Wednesday legislation that requires owners of apartment buildings with five or more units to provide paper, plastic and can recycling services to their tenants, starting next year.
Assembly Bill (AB) 818, authored by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), establishes the Renter’s Right to Recycle Act.
“We have finally overcome a great inequity,” said Blumenfield in a press release. “Renters want and deserve the same opportunities to recycle as everyone else. Before this bill, many renters could recycle only by hauling their waste across town to a recycling center. Green living is the future and nothing is more basic than being able to recycle where you live.”
Blumenfield authored similar legislation in 2009, which was vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his veto message, Schwarzenegger cited prescriptiveness and said the legislation placed costly requirements on apartment owners.
According to the Californians Against Waste, which supported AB 818, no more than 40 percent of those living in multifamily dwellings has had access to residential recycling services in Los Angeles.
Each year, Los Angeles County generates 23 million tons of waste and recyclable materials and more than 10 million tons of waste is sent to landfills, according to Blumenfield’s office.
In 2007, the city of Los Angeles sought to become a zero-waste city and set ambitious recycling goals: a 70 percent recycling rate by 2013, a 90 percent recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste by 2030.
“The path to meeting our recycling goals in Los Angeles goes through apartments,” Blumenfield said in the press release.