October 12, 2011

States from coast to coast are making impressive commitments to the environment. In California, Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill that commits the state to recycling 75 percent of its waste by the year 2020. Another bill signed at the same time creates incentives for manufacturers to recycle plastic waste in California. Right now, the state sends more than 80 percent of the plastic waste it collects overseas where it is turned into recycled products. State officials say recycling the plastic in-state will also help create jobs.

In Vermont, state officials have released a draft calling for 90 percent of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources. The plan includes the state’s electricity, thermal energy, transportation and land use. Vermont is taking steps to make renewable energy use easier by cutting the red tape involved in installing solar power. Vermont also leads the U.S. in energy efficient investments which is driving down electricity use in the state by about 2 percent every year.

The state of Oregon just announced it recycled 50 percent of the waste it recovered in 2010. 2.1 million tons of material was collected and recycled last year, that’s about a two percent increase from the year before. 39 percent of the waste was organic, 29 percent was paper, followed by metal, glass, plastic and electronics.