According to preliminary data released on Thursday, the state of California has achieved its goal of diverting 50 percent of its solid waste from landfills. According to the L.A. Times, this meets the goal set in 1989, when state legislators passed a landmark law requiring communities to establish waste management plans for businesses and residents.
State officials attributed their success to ambitious recycling programs. In 2005 the state recycled 88 million tons of solid waste for a 52 percent recycling rate, up from 76 million tons or 48 percent in 2004. As a result of the high recycling rate, the state has not opened a new landfill in over a decade.