As documented in this interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor, residents of the tiny Japanese town of Kamikatsu have achieved a staggering 80 percent recycling rate. This should give California something to shoot for.
"This is a town singularly focused on banishing waste – all waste – by 2020. The 2,000 people of Kamikatsu have dispensed with public trash bins. They set up a Zero Waste Academy to act as a monitor. The town dump has become a sort of outdoor filing cabinet, embracing 34 categories of trash – from batteries to fluorescent lights to bottle caps."
The article also profiles a forward-thinking Toyota Prius plant in Nagoya and a successful cellphone recycling operation, illustrating Japan's attempts to achieve a zero-waste goal.
What are you doing to increase diversion in your area?