In August, the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) announced that the state has attained its goal of 50 percent diversion. The Golden State now diverts 52 percent of the 76 million tons of municipal solid waste generated each year, according to data compiled by the board.
The 50 percent goal was established in 1989 with the Integrated Waste Management Act. At that time, nearly 90 of garbage was sent to landfills. Since then, CIWMB has handed more than 6,100 grants totaling $413 million to encourage waste reduction.
The state estimates that recycling is responsible for 85,000 jobs and $4 billion in salaries and wages and t generates $10 billion in goods and services every year. Also, recycling in the state reduces greenhouse gas emissions at a rate equal to taking 3.8 million cars off the road.