Today's Law As Amended


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AB-962 California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act: returnable beverage containers.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 14525.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

14525.1.
 “Returnable beverage container” means a beverage container that has been used to contain a beverage, for which the applicable redemption payment has been paid, and that is returned whole and intact to a recycler or other certified entity designated by the department and capable of reuse as a beverage container.

SEC. 2.

 Section 14539 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14539.
 (a) (1) The department shall certify processors pursuant to this section.
(2) The department shall review whether an application for certification or renewal is complete within 30 working days of receipt, including compliance with subdivision (c). If the department deems an application complete, the department shall approve or deny the application no later than 60 calendar days after the date when the application was deemed complete.
(b) The director shall adopt, by regulation, requirements and standards for certification. The regulations shall require, but shall not be limited to requiring, that all of the following conditions be met for certification:
(1) The processor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the processor will operate in accordance with this division.
(2) If one or more certified entities have operated at the same location within the past five years, the operations at the location of the processor exhibit, to the satisfaction of the department, a pattern of operation in compliance with the requirements of this division and regulations adopted pursuant to this division.
(3) The processor notifies the department promptly of any material change in the nature of the processor’s operations that conflicts with the information submitted in the operator’s application for certification.
(c) (1) An applicant for certification as a processor and a processor applying for renewal of a certification shall complete the precertification training program required by this subdivision and meet all other qualification requirements prescribed by the department, which may include, but are not limited to, requiring the applicant to obtain a passing score on an examination administered by the department.
(2) The department may use staff or industry experts, or may seek expertise available in other state agencies, to provide the training program required by this subdivision, which shall include providing technical assistance to better prepare processors for successful participation in this division, thereby reducing the potential for errors, fraud, or other activities which that  compromise the integrity of the implementation of this division.
(d) A certified processor shall comply with all of the following requirements for operation:
(1) The processor shall not pay a refund value for, or receive a refund value from the department for, any food or drink packaging material or any beverage container or other product that does not have a refund value established pursuant to Section 14560.
(2) The processor shall take those actions that satisfy the department to prevent the payment of a refund value for any food or drink packaging material or any beverage container or other product that does not have a refund value established pursuant to Section 14560.
(3) Unless exempted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 14572, the processor shall accept, and pay at least the refund value for, all empty beverage containers, regardless of type, for which the processor is certified.
(4) A processor shall not pay any refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees to a noncertified recycler. A processor may pay refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees to any entity that is identified by the department on its list of certified recycling centers.
(5) A processor shall not pay any refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees on empty beverage containers or other containers that the processor knew, or should have known, were coming into the state from out of the state, or are otherwise ineligible for redemption.
(6) A processor shall not claim refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees on empty beverage containers that the processor knew, or should have known, were received from noncertified recyclers or on beverage containers that the processor knew, or should have known, come from out of the state, or are otherwise ineligible for redemption. A processor may claim refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees on any empty beverage container that does not come from out of the state and that is received from any entity that is identified by the department on its list of certified recycling centers.
(7) (A)  A processor shall take the actions necessary and approved by the department to cancel containers to render them unfit for redemption.
(B) For a returnable beverage container, a processor approved by the department to handle returnable beverage containers may satisfy the requirements of this section by transferring the returnable beverage container to a washer approved by the department.
(8) A processor shall prepare or maintain the following documents involving empty beverage containers, as specified by the department by regulation:
(A) Shipping reports that are required to be prepared by the processor or that are required to be obtained from recycling centers.
(B) Processor invoice reports.
(C) Cancellation verification documents.
(D) Documents authorizing recycling centers to cancel empty beverage containers.
(E) Processor-to-processor transaction receipts.
(F) Rejected container receipts on materials subject to this division.
(G) Receipts for transactions with beverage manufacturers on materials subject to this division.
(H) Receipts for transactions with distributors on materials subject to this division.
(I) Weight tickets.
(9) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (7), a processor shall cooperate with the department and make available its records of scrap transactions when the review of these records is necessary for an audit or investigation by the department.
(e) The department may recover, in restitution pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 14591.2, any payments made by the department to the processor pursuant to Section 14573 that are based on the documents specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (d), that are not prepared or maintained in compliance with the department’s regulations, and that do not allow the department to verify claims for program payments.
(f) (1) The department shall adopt regulations no later than January 1, 2024, to implement subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of subdivision (d). The regulations shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(A) Standards that a beverage container must meet to be “capable of reuse as a beverage container” pursuant to the definition of “returnable beverage container” in Section 14525.1.
(B) Approval requirements, approval processes, standards of operation, and oversight of washers.
(C) Approval requirements, approval processes, and standards of operation of processors for the handling of returnable beverage containers, if appropriate.
(2) In adopting regulations pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall also consider actions or requirements to prevent fraud in the redeeming of a returnable beverage container, not including sending a returnable beverage container out of state.

SEC. 3.

 Section 14576 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

14576.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that all provisions of this division be interpreted to encourage and support the reuse, as well as the recycling, of empty beverage containers.
(b) (1) An empty returnable beverage container for which the applicable redemption payment has been paid, which is collected and processed unbroken for reuse as a beverage container, shall continue to be eligible for all applicable payments and incentives provided in this division.
(2) The processing payment for a returnable beverage container shall be the same amount paid for other beverage containers of the same material type.
SEC. 4.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.