California passes aggregate recycling bill

The bill requires highway agencies to use recycled materials for road repair and construction when feasible.

Road construction

Vadim | stock.adobe.com

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed recycling bill A.B. 2953 into law Sept. 30, requiring local governments and highway agencies in the state to use recycled materials for road repair and construction when feasible.

Sponsored by the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA), the legislation aims to increase the recycling of construction materials—such as road base, asphalt and concrete—in order to conserve natural resources, maximize recycling and reduce emissions.

The bill exempts small cities with populations of 25,000 or less and counties with 100,000 residents or less.

Related: California passes new wood waste legislation

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, local agencies with jurisdiction over a street or highway, to the extent feasible and cost-effective, is to apply standard specifications that allow for the use of recycled materials in streets and highways, the bill’s text states.

According to the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA), this is the “most aggressive” push by a state government to use recycled materials.

In an email to members, the association says that “driving the demand side … is a better long-term answer to increasing recycling than just passing disposal bans. For some construction materials, such as concrete and asphalt, the biggest end user is the government.”

Charley Rea of CalCIMA, who helped work the bill to passage, will participate in CDRA’s Legislative Committee call Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. EST to explain the practical effects of the bill. The meeting is open to all CDRA members. To get the link, contact the CDRA at info@cdrecycling.org.

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