CalChamber-Backed Bill Helps Minimize California Waste

An Assembly policy committee gave near-unanimous approval on March 20 to a California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill that will reduce the number of surplus household consumer products unnecessarily managed as hazardous waste.

Consumers and the environment will benefit if AB 2660 (Quirk; D-Hayward) becomes law. It allows surplus consumer products to be donated or recycled by making explicit that a retail location in California may transport surplus consumer products to a reverse distribution location in compliance with applicable shipping regulations.

Current law regulating when a product is deemed waste is vague and has resulted in many retailers taking conservative action and disposing of products as hazardous waste when those products are viable candidates for sale into secondary markets, donation and/or recycling.

AB 2660 seeks to clarify the law so that the products can be processed at reverse distribution locations for sale in secondary markets, donation, recalls, or bona fide financial credit.

California retailers have settled significant hazardous waste enforcement actions in recent years. This bill does not seek to undo any of the significant progress that has been achieved in improving hazardous waste management following these enforcement actions.

Indeed, as part of these enforcement action settlements, industry was instructed to seek legislative remedies to clarify the ambiguities in the law related to reverse distribution. AB 2660 provides that clarification and is a response to that requirement.

Industry is proud of the improvements made throughout the distribution chain to improve compliance with existing law for the benefit of California’s environment. By clarifying the role of reverse logistics, AB 2660 builds upon this success and furthers California’s waste minimization goals.

Key Vote

AB 2660 passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on March 20 on a vote of 6-0:

Ayes: Arambula (D-Kingsburg), Chen (R-Walnut), Friedman (D-Glendale), Holden (D-Pasadena), Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Quirk (D-Hayward).

No vote recorded: Brough (R-Dana Point).

The bill will be considered next by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera

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Jennifer Barrera took over as president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce on October 1, 2021. She has been part of the CalChamber team since 2010 and stepped into the top position after serving as CalChamber executive vice president, overseeing the development and implementation of policy and strategy for the organization, as well as representing the CalChamber on legal reform issues. Barrera is well-known for her success rate with the CalChamber’s annual list of job killer legislation, efforts to reform the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and leadership working with employers on critical issues, including most recently those arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she advises the business compliance activities of the CalChamber on interpreting changes in employment law. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law. See full bio