California Carpet Stewardship (AB 2398)

September, 2010

AB 2398, the carpet product stewardship bill, passed in 2010 and amends the California Public Resources Code (Chapter 20, Section 42970-42983). The law requires that carpet producers, collectively or individually, submit a stewardship plan to increase the recycling and diversion of postconsumer carpet, increase the recyclability of carpets, and incentivize the market growth of secondary products made from postconsumer carpet, to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) by September 30, 2011.

From July 1, 2011 until January 1, 2013, carpet manufacturers are required to add an assessment of $0.05 per square yard on the purchase price of all carpet sold in the state by that manufacturer, to be used by the carpet stewardship organization to “achieve measureable improvements in the landfill diversion and recycling of postconsumer carpet.” Beginning January 1, 2013, manufacturers shall add an assessment in an amount which is sufficient to meet, but not exceed, the anticipated cost of carrying out the plan, to be approved by CalRecycle. Such plans must include a funding mechanism that provides sufficient funding to carry out the plan, and include education and outreach efforts to consumers, commercial building owners, carpet installation contractors, and retailers to promote their participation in the plan. Plans must also include a process by which the financial activities of the carpet stewardship organization or individual manufacturer will be subject to an independent audit, which may be reviewed by CalRecycle.

Until April 1, 2015, the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is required to serve as the carpet stewardship organization, afterwhich manufacturers may individually or collectively form carpet stewardship organizations to design, submit and administer carpet stewardship plans; on January 17, 2012, CalRecycle conditionally approved the Carpet Stewardship Plan (PDF) submitted by CARE. Each carpet stewardship organization submitting a required carpet stewardship plan must pay CalRecycle an annual administrative fee on or before July 1, 2012. The annual administrative fee will be set by CalRecycle to adequately cover, but not exceed, the costs of administering and enforcing the law, including program development and regulatory costs, and “may not exceed 5 percent of the aggregate assessment collected for the preceding calendar year.”

Beginning July 1, 2013, carpet manufacturers are required to submit annual reports to CalRecycle which include the amount of carpet sold in the state, the amount of postconsumer carpet recycled and the amount recovered but not recycled, the total cost of implementing the plan, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the plan, and examples of educational materials that were provided to consumers.

On January 26, 2012 the Office of Administrative Law approved the California Carpet Stewardship Regulation (Title 14, Ch. 11). See CalRecycle’s Carpet Stewardship Program for more information, or CARE’s California Carpet site.