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ACRI Opinion - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

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Limit on recycling in Pomona would be harmful: Guest commentary

POSTED: 04/15/16, 1:42 PM PDT

By Adam Holt

California residents have a proud history of working to protect our environment. When it comes to protecting our community, we are leaders in working together to improve local air quality or reduce the number of unsightly landfills.

Each year, Californians recycle more than 18 million of the 21 million beverage containers purchased. Those containers are diverted from local landfills. According to CalRecycle, the state agency that oversees recycling, many of these containers can take up to 700 years to break down once placed in a landfill.

Recently several residents in Pomona have been urging the city to consider placing a limit on recycling activities. We believe their request is shortsighted and needs to be carefully reviewed by city leaders. Such a policy would dramatically reduce the amount of beverage containers and other recyclable materials that are diverted from local landfills.

In addition to the environmental benefits associated with recycling, the recycling industry employs more than 57,000 men and women in California.

California cities, including Pomona, have been given a goal by the state Legislature to divert 75 percent of their waste from local landfills by the year 2020. If the city were to placing artificial limits on the amount of recycling in Pomona, it would be limiting the community’s ability to meet its recycling and waste diversion goals, and forcing more waste materials into local landfills.

As the leading association of professional recyclers, we look forward to working with the city of Pomona and others to ensure that residents and businesses can continue to maximize the amount of materials they recycle and divert from local landfills.

Through good planning and open communication, we believe Pomona can continue to protect the environment, and thereby enhance the quality of life for residents through responsible recycling

Adam Holt is president of the Association of California Recycling Industries; http://acrinow.org.