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SB-451 Beverage container recycling: pilot projects. (2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/16/2021 09:00 PM
SB451:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 451


Introduced by Senator Dodd

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Sections 14515.8, 14549.5, 14562, 14571.8, and 14571.9 of the Public Resources Code, relating to beverage container recycling, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 451, as introduced, Dodd. Beverage container recycling: pilot projects.
Existing law, the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to annually designate convenience zones and, until January 1, 2022, authorizes the department to approve up to 5 limited-term recycling pilot projects that are designed to improve redemption opportunities in unserved convenience zones. The act authorizes the department to issue probationary operation certificates to pilot project recyclers for not more than 3 years and makes those recyclers eligible to apply for handling fees from the department. The act makes these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2022, and repeals them on January 1, 2023. The act establishes the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund and continuously appropriates moneys in the fund to the department for specified purposes, including the amount necessary to pay handling fees.
This bill would postpone to January 1, 2023, the date by which the department may approve recycling pilot projects. The bill would increase the maximum number of pilot projects from 5 to 10. By increasing expenditures from a continuously appropriated fund for these extensions, the bill would make an appropriation.
This bill would make the provisions related to the pilot projects inoperative on July 1, 2023, and would repeal them as of January 1, 2024.
This bill would make other conforming and nonsubstantive changes.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 14515.8 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14515.8.
 (a) “Pilot project recycler” means a recycling location established pursuant to under Section 14571.9.
(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, 2024, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2022, 2024, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 14549.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14549.5.
 On or before April 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, of each year, or more frequently as determined to be necessary by the department, the department shall review and, if necessary in order to ensure payment of the most accurate commingled rate feasible, recalculate commingled rates paid for beverage containers and postfilled containers paid to curbside recycling programs and collection programs. Prior to Before recalculating a commingled rate pursuant to this section, the department shall do all of the following:
(a) Consult with private and public operators of curbside recycling programs and collection programs concerning the size of the statewide sample, appropriate sampling methodologies, and alternatives to exclusive reliance on a statewide commingled rate.
(b) At least 60 days prior to before the effective date of any new commingled rate, hold a public hearing, after giving notice, to make available to the public and affected parties the department’s review and any proposed recalculations of the commingled rate.
(c) At least 60 days prior to before the effective date of any new commingled rate, and upon the request of any party, make available documentation or studies which that were prepared as part of the department’s review of a commingled rate.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding this division, the department may calculate a curbside recycling program commingled rate pursuant to this subdivision for bimetal containers and a combined commingled rate for all plastic beverage containers displaying the resin identification code “3,” “4,” “5,” “6,” or “7” pursuant to Section 18015.
(2) The department may enter into a contract for the services required to implement the amendments to this section made by Chapter 753 of the Statutes of 2003. The department may shall not expend more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for each year of the contract. The contract shall be paid only from revenues derived from redemption payments and processing fees paid on plastic beverage containers displaying the resin identification code “3,” “4,” “5,” “6,” or “7” pursuant to Section 18015. If the department determines that insufficient funds will be available from these revenues, after refund values are paid to processors and the reduction is made in the processing fee pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 14575 for these containers, the department may determine not to calculate a commingled rate pursuant to this subdivision.

SEC. 3.

 Section 14562 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14562.
 The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the minimum redemption payment established by this article is a regulatory fee collected for the purpose of assuring the return for recycling of a greater percentage of the beverage containers sold in this state, and is beneficial to the beverage industry by assuring the more reliable availability of raw materials. Accordingly, the payments of redemption payments to the department for deposit in the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund are not the “proceeds of taxes,” as that term is used in subdivision (c) of Section 8 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution, and the disbursement or encumbrance of money in the fund is not subject to the limitations imposed by that article. In all other respects, the payments made pursuant to this division shall be governed by applicable provisions of the California Constitution.

SEC. 4.

 Section 14571.8 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14571.8.
 (a) No lease entered into by a dealer after January 1, 1987, may contain a leasehold restriction that prohibits or results in the prohibition of the establishment of a recycling location.
(b) The director may grant an exemption from the requirements of Section 14571 for an individual convenience zone only after the department solicits public testimony on whether or not to provide an exemption from Section 14571. The solicitation process shall be designed by the department to ensure that operators of recycling centers, dealers, and members of the public in the jurisdiction affected by the proposed exemption are aware of the proposed exemption. After evaluation of the testimony and any field review conducted, the department shall base a decision to exempt a convenience zone on one, or any combination, of the following factors:
(1) The exemption will not significantly decrease the ability of consumers to conveniently return beverage containers for the refund value to a certified recycling center redeeming all material types.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (5), the nearest certified recycling center is within a reasonable distance of the convenience zone being considered from exemption.
(3) The convenience zone is in the area of a curbside recycling program that meets the criteria specified in Section 14509.5.
(4) The requirements of Section 14571 cannot be met in a particular convenience zone due to local zoning or the dealer’s leasehold restrictions for leases in effect on January 1, 1987, and the local zoning or leasehold restrictions are not within the authority of the department and the dealer. However, any lease executed after January 1, 1987, shall meet the requirements specified in subdivision (a).
(5) The convenience zone has redeemed less than 60,000 containers per month for the prior 12 months and, notwithstanding paragraph (2), a certified recycling center is located within one mile of the convenience zone that is the subject of the exemption.
(c) The department shall review each convenience zone in which a certified recycling center was not located on January 1, 1996, is not located to determine the eligibility of the convenience zone under the exemption criteria specified in subdivision (b).
(d) The total number of exemptions granted by the director under this section shall not exceed 35 percent of the total number of convenience zones identified pursuant to this section.
(e) The department may, on its own motion, or upon petition by any interested person, revoke a convenience zone exemption if either of the following occurs:
(1) The condition or conditions that caused the convenience zone to be exempt no longer exists, and the department determines that the criteria for an exemption specified in this section are not presently applicable to the convenience zone.
(2) The department determines that the convenience zone exemption was granted due to an administrative error.
(f) If an exemption is revoked and a recycling center is not certified and operational in the convenience zone, the department shall, within 10 days of the date of the decision to revoke, serve all dealers in the convenience zone with the notice specified in subdivision (a) of Section 14571.7.
(g) An exemption shall not be revoked when a recycling center becomes certified and operational within an exempt convenience zone unless either of the events specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (e) occurs.

SEC. 5.

 Section 14571.9 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14571.9.
 (a) (1) Until January 1, 2022, 2023, the department may approve up to five 10 recycling pilot projects that meet the requirements of this section.
(2) The pilot projects, which shall be submitted by applicant jurisdictions, shall be designed to improve redemption opportunities in unserved convenience zones. It is the intent of the Legislature to create new, convenient recycling opportunities to improve consumer redemption of eligible beverage containers and increase recycling rates in jurisdictions served by pilot projects and to provide recycling opportunities to improve consumer redemption of eligible containers in pilot project areas, including in rural areas.
(3) Unless otherwise specified in or authorized by the department pursuant to under this section, an operator of a pilot project operator shall be subject to all requirements imposed on recycling centers as specified in this division and any implementing regulations, except for the requirements specified in Sections 14570 and 14571.
(4) If a pilot project ends before January 1, 2022, 2023, the department may consider additional pilot project proposals, but not more than five 10 pilot projects may operate at the same time.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 14570, 14571, and 14571.6, a convenience zone that falls within the area of a pilot project approved by the department under this section shall be deemed served while the pilot project is operational.
(2) (A) A dealer within the jurisdiction of a pilot project shall post a clear and conspicuous sign of at least 10 inches by 15 inches at each public entrance to the dealer’s place of business that specifies the name of the pilot project location nearest to the dealer, as provided by the department, the days and hours of operation of the pilot project location, and the toll-free telephone number established by the department pursuant to under subparagraph (B). This information shall be kept accurate and up to date.
(B) The department shall establish a toll-free telephone number and an internet website for the purpose of disseminating to disseminate information regarding beverage container recycling opportunities.
(3) If a pilot project ceases operation or the pilot project’s certification has been revoked by the department, a dealer in the convenience zone served by the pilot project shall comply with Sections 14570, 14571, and 14571.6. The department shall inform all dealers within a convenience zone of any change in status of a pilot project serving that convenience zone within 10 calendar days.
(c) No later than 90 days after the effective date of this section, the department shall hold at least one public workshop with interested stakeholders to solicit feedback on the pilot project program described in this section, including feedback on the factors that may be considered in the approval of a pilot project.
(d) The requirements for a pilot project shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A pilot project shall serve one of the following:
(A) At least three unserved convenience zones.
(B) One or more convenience zones impacting a total of at least 30 dealers in unserved convenience zones.
(C) A rural region.
(2) A pilot project shall be in a jurisdiction that, as of the effective date of the pilot project application, meets at least one of the following conditions:
(A) Had at least six unserved convenience zones.
(B) Had 75 percent of the convenience zones in the jurisdiction unserved.
(C) Is located in a rural region.
(3) A pilot project shall not establish a location for redeeming a beverage container for its refund value that is outside of the pilot project area.
(4) A pilot project recycler may be located anywhere within the pilot project area.
(5) A pilot project shall be served only by a pilot project recycler that meets all of the following requirements:
(A) The pilot project recycler shall be open a minimum of one weekday per week for at least eight hours.
(B) In addition to the requirement in subparagraph (C), the pilot project recycler shall be open at least five hours per week during periods other than from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(C) The pilot project recycler shall be open at least eight hours per week during the weekend.
(D) The pilot project recycler shall accept and pay the refund value for all eligible beverage container types.
(E) The operator of the pilot project operator shall notify the department in writing 10 calendar days before any change of the location where redeemed empty beverage containers are stored.
(F) The pilot project recycler shall only redeem eligible empty beverage container material purchased from consumers for recycling, and shall not accept material from any other certified or noncertified person or entity, including, but not limited to, recycling centers, dropoff or collection programs, curbside programs, and processors.
(G) A The pilot project operator shall keep separate transaction records for each location within the pilot project, and in the case of mobile collection programs, separate transaction records for each location served by the mobile unit.
(6) A processor shall not issue an authorization to cancel pursuant to under subdivision (b) of Section 2110 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations to a pilot project recycler.
(7) Additional requirements as deemed necessary by the department.
(e) A pilot project established pursuant to this section may provide stationary dropoff locations or mobile collection programs.
(f) A jurisdiction that opts to be served by a pilot project shall submit its pilot project proposal to the department for approval. The proposal shall include all of the following elements:
(1) A map of the pilot project area, including intended locations for pilot project recyclers.
(2) A list of proposed operators of pilot project recyclers.
(3) Contact information for the jurisdiction.
(4) Planned dates of operation.
(5) A description of how the pilot project will meet the requirements of this section.
(6) Additional elements as determined by the department.
(g) The department may issue probationary certificates of operation to pilot project recyclers participating in an approved pilot project. A certificate issued under this section shall be valid, and shall specify that the certificate is valid, for a period of not more than three years or until the end of the pilot project, whichever comes first. Notwithstanding certification requirements imposed by this division or implementing regulations, the following application review timelines shall apply to pilot projects:
(1) The department shall notify each applicant and the appropriate pilot project contact within 30 calendar days of receipt of the proposal, or receipt of additional information if the proposal was initially deemed incomplete, that the proposal for certification is either complete and accepted for further review or incomplete and the reasons for incompleteness.
(2) Upon determining that a proposal is complete, the department shall notify the applicant and appropriate pilot project contact in writing within 30 calendar days that the application is either approved with probationary status or denied and the reasons for denial.
(h) In approving pilot projects, the department shall consider all of the following factors:
(1) The number of unserved convenience zones that will be served by the pilot project.
(2) The total number of hours per week the pilot project recycler will operate.
(3) The total number of locations that will be served under the pilot project.
(4) Whether the jurisdiction has actively prevented the siting or operation of a certified recycling center at a supermarket site.
(5) The geographic distribution of jurisdictions proposing a pilot project.
(6) Potential impacts to existing certified recycling centers.
(7) Additional factors deemed relevant by the department.
(i) (1) The department may revoke the approval of a pilot project or the associated probationary certification of a pilot project recycler participating in the pilot project, or both, at any time if the jurisdiction or operator of the pilot project operator fails to meet the conditions outlined in the department’s approval of the application or violates this division or a regulation adopted pursuant to under this division, except as to violations of the division or regulations that are inconsistent with the operation of an approved pilot project. If the department revokes a probationary certification of a pilot project recycler, the department may require the jurisdiction or operator of the pilot project operator to take the steps necessary to ensure that the pilot project achieves its goals consistent with the approved pilot project application.
(2) If the approval of a pilot project is revoked, the review process described in Section 14571.7 shall apply to each convenience zone that was a part of the pilot project.
(j) (1) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 14585, a pilot project recycler that has been certified by the department on a probationary basis pursuant to under an approved pilot project shall be eligible to apply for handling fees pursuant to under Section 14585 and to receive from certified processors the amounts specified in subdivision (a) of Section 14573.5 for refund values, administrative costs, and processing payments.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 14585, the existence of a pilot project recycler shall not affect the handling fee eligibility of a recycling center.
(3) For purposes of handling fee eligibility, a pilot project recycler may be located anywhere within a pilot project area.
(k) The department may adopt emergency regulations for the purpose of implementing to implement this section. Emergency regulations, if adopted, shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and for the purposes of that chapter, including Section 11349.6 of the Government Code, the adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, and general welfare. Emergency regulations adopted pursuant to under this section shall be filed with, but not be repealed by, the Office of Administrative Law and shall remain in effect until amended or repealed by the department or July 1, 2022, 2023, whichever comes first.
(l) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2022, 2023, and, as of January 1, 2023, 2024, is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to modernize the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act to increase recycling in the state, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.