California sets lofty 75 percent recycling rate goal by 2020

Many people around the country scoffed at the state of California when it passed a law in 1989 to achieve a 50 percent recycling rate by 2000, but the state's residents proved the naysayers wrong. California already has 58 percent of its trash removed from the waste stream, and recently Governor Jerry Brown signed a new piece of legislation called Assembly Bill 341 that would divert 75 percent of trash from landfills by 2020. These sorts of lofty goals are nothing new for the progressive state, and it will increase revenue and create jobs for thousands of California residents, according to

"AB 341 expands on the law passed 21 years ago that made California the nation's leader in recycling," Wes Chesbro, assembly member and author of the bill, told the news source. "Not only do we create more green jobs, we protect the environment and conserve energy by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills."

The new legislation will be a boon for the state's unemployment level and will help to divert some of the 40 million tons of trash that is still being disposed in the state's landfills, despite the 58 percent recycling rate. Chesbro contends that the 1989 recycling bill created 125,000 new jobs over the past two decades and generated nearly $4 billion in annual salaries, so these trends should continue over the coming years.

The challenge for the state is to encourage apartment complexes and businesses to do their part to increase recycling rates. Business trash makes up 64 percent of the state's landfill disposal, so curbing the amount of that waste will be a huge priority for the state if it wants to achieve a 75 percent rate by 2020.