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Californains Threw Away Less Rubbish In 2011

Aired 7/26/12 on KPBS News.

Less waste went to California landfills last year, according to CalRecycle.

New data shows less rubbish went to California landfills in 2011. The state agency CalRecycle said Californians threw away nearly 30 million tons of garbage.

It's a modest decrease from the previous year, and down from a high of 42.5 million tons in 2005. Mark Oldfield with CalRecycle attributed part of the decline to the economic downturn.

"Construction and demolition, for example, are a fairly significant portion of the waste stream,: explained Oldfield. "So when there's fewer houses being built, fewer cars being bought - that means fewer cars perhaps being disposed of - there's less material being produced at the front end and at the back end, less waste going to landfills."

Oldfield said Californians currently recycle about sixty-five percent of their waste. A new state law sets a target of seventy-five percent by the year 2020.

CalRecycle is working on a plan to achieve that goal, which includes expanding recycling facilities

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