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

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Date Published: 06/14/2021 09:00 PM
AB962:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 14, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 962


Introduced by Assembly Member Members Kamlager and Lorena Gonzalez
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Lee, Quirk, Ting, and Wood)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 14539 of, and to add Sections 14525.1 and 14576 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to solid waste.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 962, as amended, Kamlager. California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act: reusable returnable beverage containers.
The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, which is administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, is established to promote beverage container recycling and provides for the payment, collection, and distribution of certain payments and fees based on minimum refund values established for beverage containers. The act requires a distributor of beverage containers to pay to the department the redemption payment for every beverage container sold or transferred to a dealer for deposit into the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund. The act defines “recycling” for its purposes as the reuse or refilling of empty beverage containers, or the process of sorting, cleansing, treating, and reconstituting empty postfilled beverage containers for the purpose of using the altered form.
The act requires the department to certify processors and requires certified processors to comply with specified requirements for operation, including, among others, taking the actions necessary and approved by the department to cancel containers to render them unfit for redemption. A violation of the act is an infraction.
This bill would authorize, for a reusable returnable beverage container, a processor approved by the department to handle reusable returnable beverage containers to satisfy those operation requirements by transferring the reusable returnable beverage container to a washer approved by the department. By creating crimes relating to reusable returnable beverage containers, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would define “reusable “returnable beverage container” for purposes of the act to mean 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. The bill would provide that an empty reusable returnable beverage container for which the applicable redemption payment has been paid and that is collected and processed unbroken for reuse as a beverage container shall continue to be eligible for all applicable payments and incentives provided in the act.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

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

14525.1.
 “Reusable “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 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 reusable returnable beverage container, a processor approved by the department to handle reusable returnable beverage containers may satisfy the requirements of this section by transferring the reusable 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.

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) An empty reusable 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.

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.