Natural Resources

AB 1159
Page 1
Date of Hearing: April 13, 2015
Das Williams, Chair
AB 1159 (Gordon) – As Amended April 6, 2015
SUBJECT: Product stewardship: pilot program: household batteries and home-generated
sharps waste
SUMMARY: Establishes a pilot product stewardship program for the management of medical
sharps and household primary batteries.
1) Under the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, requires each city or county
to divert 50 percent of solid waste from landfill disposal or transformation on and after
January 1, 2000. Establishes a statewide policy goal that not less than 75 percent of solid
waste be source reduced, recycled, or composted on and after January 1, 2020.
2) Establishes the California Oil Recycling Enhancement Act, which requires manufacturers of
used oil to pay a fee of 4 cents per quart (16 cents per gallon) to the Department of Resources
Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), which then pays a recycling incentive of 4 cents per
quart to industrial generators, curbside collection program operators, and certified used oil
collection centers for used oil collected from the public and transported for recycling.
3) Establishes the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, which requires a retailer selling a
covered electronic device (CED) in California to collect a recycling fee (between $3 and $5)
from the consumer. Fees are deposited into the Electronic Waste Recovery and Recycling
Account, which is continuously appropriated to CalRecycle and the Department of Toxic
Substances Control (DTSC) to make electronic waste recovery payments to cover the net
cost of an authorized collector in operating a "free and convenient" system for collecting,
consolidating, and transporting CEDs, and to make electronic waste recycling payments to
cover an electronic waste recycler's average net cost of receiving, processing, and recycling
CEDs. Defines CED as a product that contains a video display device 4 inches and larger.
4) Establishes the Cell Phone Recycling Act, which requires every retailer of cell phones to
have in place a system for the acceptance and collection of used cell phones for reuse,
recycling, or proper disposal.
5) Establishes the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act, which requires every retailer of
rechargeable batteries to have in place a system for the acceptance and collection of used
rechargeable batteries for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal.
6) Establishes the Dry Cell Battery Management Act, which establishes requirements for the
production and labeling of consumer products with dry cell batteries and sets limits on the
amount of mercury in those batteries.
7) Establishes the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act, which requires manufacturers to
establish and maintain a program for mercury-added thermostats. Requires the program to
AB 1159
Page 2
include collection, handling, and arranging for appropriate management of mercury-added
8) Requires pharmaceutical manufacturers that sell or distribute a medication in California that
is usually self-injected at home with a hypodermic needle to submit to CalRecycle a plan that
describes any actions taken by the manufacturer for the safe collection and proper disposal of
the waste devices.
9) Establishes the Product Stewardship for Carpets Program, which requires manufacturers of
carpet sold in California to submit a carpet product stewardship plan to CalRecycle that
demonstrates how waste carpet will be collected and properly managed.
10) Establishes the Architectural Paint Recovery Program, which requires architectural paint
manufacturers to develop and implement a program to manage waste latex paint.
11) Establishes the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act, which requires mattress
manufacturers and retailers to develop a mattress stewardship program to increase the
recovery and recycling of used mattresses.
12) Prohibits the disposal of home-generated sharps waste in solid waste or recycling streams
and requires pharmaceutical manufacturers that sell or distribute a medication in California
that is self-injected at home through the use of a hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous
needle, or any other similar device to annually submit a plan to CalRecycle that describes
what actions, if any, the manufacturer supports for the safe management of sharps waste.
13) Under the Cartwright Act, establishes broad anti-trust requirements for businesses in
14) Under the Unfair Business Practices Act and the Unfair Competition Law, imposes civil
liability and criminal penalties for any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act.
1) Requires product stewardship organizations (i.e., an organization created by one or more
producers of covered products) to develop and implement a product stewardship plan.
2) Defines "covered product" as a consumer product that is used or discarded in the state that is
either a home generated sharp waste or household battery.
3) On or before January 1, 2017, requires CalRecycle to adopt regulations to implement the bill,
which shall include:
a) Performance standards for a covered product, including a minimum collection rate and
appropriate geographic coverage for a covered product;
b) Procedures for plan submittal;
c) The appointment of a stakeholder advisory committee.
AB 1159
Page 3
4) Specifies that the creation, implementation, management, and cost of a plan by an
organization are not a violation of the Cartwright Act, the Unfair Practices Act, or the Unfair
Competition Law.
5) On or before July 1, 2017, requires an organization to submit a plan to CalRecycle that will
divert the covered product from landfills and manage the covered product in a manner that is
consistent with the state's hierarchy for waste management.
6) Requires that the plan include the following:
a) Strategies to achieve the performance standards established by CalRecycle;
b) Strategies for managing and reducing the life-cycle impacts of the covered product;
c) A funding mechanism that provides sufficient funding to carry out the plan, as specified;
d) A process by which the financial activities of the organization will be subject to
independent audit, which may be reviewed by CalRecycle.
7) Within 30 days of receipt of a plan, requires CalRecycle to review the plan and determine
whether or not the plan is complete. If it deems the plan incomplete, requires CalRecycle to
notify the organization and requires the organization to revise and resubmit the plan within
30 days.
8) Within 60 days of determining that a plan is complete, requires CalRecycle to approve or not
approve a plan based on whether or not the plan complies with the bill and establishes
procedures for a plan that is not approved.
9) Requires an organization that submits a plan to pay an annual administrative fee to
CalRecycle. Requires CalRecycle to set the fee at an amount that is adequate to cover the
costs of administering the program.
10) Directs fees and any penalties collected to the Product Stewardship Account, which the bill
establishes in the Integrated Waste Management Fund. Specifies that fees collected may be
used by CalRecycle to implement the requirements of the bill.
11) Establishes civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day for violations, and up to $10,000 per day
for intentional, knowing, or negligent violations. Requires CalRecycle or a court to consider
specified factors when assessing a penalty.
12) On or before March 1, 2017, requires CalRecycle to appoint a stakeholder advisory
committee for each covered product to provide technical feedback to an organization.
Requires that members of the advisory committee include the environmental community,
solid waste industry, local governments, retailers, and other key stakeholders. Specifies that
the advisory committee be independent of the organization.
13) Beginning on or before January 1 one year after the approval of the first plan, and annually
thereafter, requires each organization to submit a report to CalRecycle describing the
activities carried out pursuant to the plan, as specified.
AB 1159
Page 4
14) On or before January 1, 2023, requires CalRecycle to report specified information to the
15) Sunsets the above provisions and related CalRecycle regulations on January 1, 2024.
1) This bill. According to the author:
AB 1159 would establish the Product Stewardship Pilot Program, which would require
producers and product stewardship organizations of covered products – either homegenerated sharps waste or household batteries, to develop and implement a product
stewardship plan.
Both of these products are widely used, lack convenient disposal and recycling
opportunities for consumers, and have significant and indisputable end-of-life impacts.
The regulations would be performance-based instead of "command and control," meaning
that the product manufacturers would be given certain performance goals for the program
but would be left to develop the compliance mechanisms in the most cost-effective and
efficient manner possible and meet the goals set by the state.
2) Product stewardship/expanded producer responsibility (EPR). Product stewardship
refers to a policy model that includes manufacturers in the end-of-life management for
products that they produce. The California Product Stewardship Council states that EPR is a
strategy to place a shared responsibility for end-of-life product management on all entities
involved in the product chain, instead of the local governments and taxpayers, while
encouraging product design changes that minimize a negative impact on human health and
the environment at every stage of a product's lifecycle. Ideally, EPR allows the costs of
management and disposal to be incorporated into the total cost of a product. Good EPR
programs result in products that are better designed for reuse and recycling, make recycling
more convenient for consumers, reduce illegal disposal of hazardous materials, and
encourage the use of recycled materials in new products.
In 2007, CalRecycle adopted strategic directives to guide solid waste management in
California. Strategic Directive 5: Producer Responsibility states that "it is a core value of
[CalRecycle] that producers assume the responsibility for the safe stewardship of their
materials in order to promote environmental sustainability."
3) Household batteries. In California, household batteries are classified as universal waste,
which includes materials that DTSC has determined are hazardous waste that are ubiquitous
and contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper, or other substances hazardous to human and
environmental health. Since 2006, universal waste has been prohibited from disposal in solid
waste landfills.
Currently, local household hazardous waste collection programs are the primary outlet for
proper management of universal waste and other hazardous wastes generated by households,
AB 1159
Page 5
including batteries. Cost estimates to manage waste batteries average around $800 per ton
(with some costing up to $2,700 per ton), amounting to tens of millions of dollars each year.
With decreasing revenues and increasing responsibilities on local governments, another
solution is necessary to manage these products. Many local governments have greatly
decreased their household hazardous waste programs, leaving few management options for
the public. To date, 133 local resolutions have been adopted in California supporting the
EPR model.
The non-profit organization Call2Recycle is working in North America to collect and recycle
rechargeable batteries. Call2Recycle operates under the Rechargeable Battery Recycling
Corporation to promote "environmental sustainability by providing free battery and cell
phone recycling in North America." The Call2Recycle program for rechargeable battery and
cell phone recycling is available to residents, retailers, businesses, communities,
municipalities, and public agencies in the US and Canada. The program was created in 1994
and is funded by battery and product manufacturers to raise awareness about the importance
of battery recycling and to promote product stewardship initiatives.
In 2006, the European Commission adopted the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC, which
requires member states of the European Union to reach a 25 percent collection rate by 2012
and 45 percent by 2016. The directive also establishes toxicity limits for batteries.
4) Medical sharps. An estimated one million Californians inject medications outside
traditional health care facilities, which generate approximately 389 million sharps each year.
The numbers of patients using injectable medications will continue to grow because it is an
effective delivery method. The most common home use of sharps is to manage diabetes.
Other reasons to home-inject include multiple sclerosis, infertility, migraines, allergies,
hemophilia, and medications for pets.
California was one of the first states to address the problems of sharps with the passage of SB
1305 (Figueroa), Chapter 64, Statutes of 2006 to prohibit the disposal of medical sharps in
California's landfills. Although illegal, most used needles still end up in household trash and
pose a significant risk of injury and/or infection to custodial workers and solid waste
5) Previous legislation.
a) AB 2284 (Williams, 2014) would have required producers of non-rechargeable
household batteries to develop and implement a plan to collect and manage batteries sold
in the state. This bill was held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
b) AB 488 (Williams, 2013) would have required producers of non-rechargeable household
batteries to develop and implement a plan to collect and manage batteries sold in the
state. This bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
c) AB 403 (Stone, 2013) would have required businesses that sell medical sharps to
establish a product stewardship plan for the end of life management of home-generated
medical sharps. This bill was held in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
AB 1159
Page 6
d) SB 515 (Corbett, 2011) would have required a producer of batteries sold in California to
develop and implement a household battery stewardship plan describing how it would
achieve collection of household batteries and the maximum feasible recovery of materials
from the collected batteries. This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
e) SB 1100 (Corbett, 2010) was substantially similar to SB 515. This bill was held in the
Assembly Rules Committee.
6) Suggested amendments.
a) The intent of this bill is to ensure that producers of covered products comply with the
requirements of the bill, either as individual companies or as members of an organization;
however, due to a drafting oversight, the bill does not explicitly require them to
participate. The committee may wish to amend the bill to clarify that individual
producers are subject to the bill's requirements.
b) This bill requires CalRecycle to adopt regulations relating to the product stewardship
plan; however, it does not authorize CalRecycle to determine whether or not a plan
complies with the regulations. The committee may wish to amend the bill to grant
CalRecycle this authority.
c) This bill includes a Legislative Counsel drafting error on page 10, lines 1-2. The
committee may wish to amend the bill to delete those lines.
d) This bill establishes unspecified dates by which administrative fees must be paid to
CalRecycle. Given CalRecycle's authority to establish regulations under the bill, the
committee may wish to strike this provision.
7th Generation Advisors
California Product Stewardship Council
California State Association of Counties
Californians Against Waste
Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority
City of Torrance
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Los Angeles County Solid Waste Management Committee/Integrated Waste Management Task
Natural Resources Defense Council
Recycle Smart
Rural County Representatives of California
AB 1159
Page 7
Biotechnology Industry Organization
California Cable and Telecommunications Association
California Healthcare Institute
California Manufacturers and Technology Association
Analysis Prepared by: Elizabeth MacMillan / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092