California Extends Recycling Waivers Over Virus Concerns

June 23, 2020, 9:30 PM

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has extended a waiver by 60 days that allows grocery stores and other retailers to stop redeeming recyclable bottles and cans.

Newsom, in an executive order signed Monday evening, also temporarily suspended rules requiring minimum hours for redemption.

  • Newsom originally waived the requirements in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic and concern about risk to employees.
  • The interest group Consumer Watchdog criticized the extension, which will run through Aug. 20. It said the move was letting retailers off the hook, could cause more economic hardship for those affected by the virus, and would put pressure on already-stressed redemption centers expected to serve millions.
  • “This means that consumers out of options completely or unwilling to stand in line for hours at redemption centers will throw more empties into the trash or into single recycling bins where materials get contaminated, sending tons more to landfills,” Consumer Watchdog’s Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker said in a news release. “This is a blow to both Californians’ pocketbooks and the environment.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Emily C. Dooley at edooley@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at ghenderson@bloombergindustry.com; Chuck McCutcheon at cmccutcheon@bloombergenvironment.com

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