The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has readopted the emergency regulations it instituted in October 2016 to avert a crisis-level statewide interruption in glass recycling.
CalRecycle has concluded that glass processors may be receiving enough waste mixed in with the glass they receive from material recovery facilities to render the glass processors ineligible to take advantage of the exemption from being regulated by CalRecycle as a permitted solid waste facility. The available information indicates that this issue may be true for up to 90 percent of the state's glass processing infrastructure. If this is the case, these facilities, in the absence of specific regulations providing otherwise, would have to cease activities immediately as solid waste facilities (transfer or processing stations) operating without a required solid waste facility permit.
Given the number of potentially affected processors, the timeline for obtaining full solid waste facility permits under existing regulation would mean a crippling interruption in the state's ability to divert a major recyclable wastestream from landfill disposal, resulting in as much as 901,612 tons of glass being disposed of in landfills and threatening the continuing viability of California glass businesses necessary to accommodate the state's recycling needs. The readopted emergency regulations at 14 CCR Sections 17402, 17403.0, 17403.3.1, 17405.0 place glass processors within the regulatory tiers in such a way as to appropriately regulate them but also allow them to continue to operate without a years-long process to obtain a solid waste facility permit (or at least up to a year before nonemergency regulations could be promulgated).
The emergency regulatory action will expire on July 5, 2017, unless it is again readopted.