Press Release

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco is hoping to launch a three-year mobile recycling program to offset the impacts of the widespread closure of facilities where people can redeem bottles and cans for cash.

The City has submitted a plan to state officials that calls for launching a mobile service initially using two trucks that would visit 16 sites in eight supervisorial districts — Districts 1 through 8 — with the fewest available places to redeem cans.

The application includes a list of 39 potential sites, including the parking lots of grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, churches, schools and others. Department of the Environment spokesman Charles Sheehan said the proposed locations are not final and could change.

Most residents in these neighborhoods have to travel at least three miles to reach any of the handful of recycling centers that remain in operation to cash in on the 5- or 10-cent California Redemption Value that consumers pay when buying bottled or canned beverages.

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The City could also stand to benefit from Assembly Bill 54, which was introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. It provides up to $5 million in state funding for such pilot programs from the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund.

Ting introduced the bill after rePlanet shuttered 284 California recycling centers in August. The closures also impacted San Francisco, further reducing its recycling centers from six in operation this year to four, according to the Department of Environment’s application.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Publication: KPBS-TV/San Diego

State Assembly members were in Chula Vista on Wednesday for a public hearing on the future spending priorities of California's prison system.

"We are spending now for 125,000 people about $13 billion," said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

State lawmakers said they intend to spend even more, but want the money to go toward keeping people out of prison.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Publication: NBC Bay Area via Bay City News

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a San Francisco assemblyman's urgency measure providing funding to bolster the dwindling presence of recycling centers in California Friday.

Assembly Bill 54, by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), allocates $5 million to implement a mobile recycling pilot program administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle.

As an urgency measure, the bill takes effect immediately.

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"AB 54 provides short-term relief to the thousands of Californians who need their container deposits refunded. Now the hard work begins. I will spend the next few months working on a more comprehensive solution that can start moving through the legislative process when we reconvene in January," Ting said in a statement. "We can't put off this reform any longer now that recycling programs are in a crisis." 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

New law is in response to the recent shut down of rePlanet recycling centers

Sacramento, CA – Help is on the way for areas in the state that no longer have California Redemption Value (CRV) recycling centers. Governor Newsom today signed AB 54 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which allocates $5 million to implement a mobile recycling pilot program administered by CalRecycle. The urgency measure takes effect immediately.

“AB 54 provides short-term relief to the thousands of Californians who need their container deposits refunded. Now the hard work begins. I will spend the next few months working on a more comprehensive solution that can start moving through the legislative process when we reconvene in January,” said Ting. “We can’t put off this reform any longer now that recycling programs are in a crisis.”

Ting’s bill is necessary after rePlanet shuttered its remaining 284 California recycling centers in August. AB 54 aims to relieve the long lines at remaining redemption sites and fill the void in areas that no longer have any. rePlanet was once California’s largest recycling company, operating about 20% of the redemption centers in the state. But a significant decrease in the scrap value of aluminum and recycled plastics has hampered their ability to stay open - even after the firm closed 191 centers in 2016 to cut costs. Exacerbating this problem are international market conditions, as countries around the world, most notably China, have imposed stricter standards on the types of waste materials they will purchase.

Under the mobile pilot program, local governments, non-profits and others can apply for one of five grants to expand recycling opportunities in areas severely impacted by the rePlanet closures. At least one pilot location must be in a rural area, and the roving redemption centers must be open at least eight hours during the weekend when demand for services is high. AB 54 also temporarily suspends, through March 2020, the fines assessed on grocers required to take back beverage containers in-store when there are no recycling centers nearby, as they are not prepared to assume the responsibility of providing redemption services.

In addition to AB 54, the 2019-20 state budget previously included another $5 million to help more than 400 low-volume recycling centers stay open.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Publication: KTVU via Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a law that will make the state the first to allow employers, co-workers and teachers to seek gun violence restraining orders against other people.

The bill was vetoed twice by former governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and goes beyond a measure that he signed allowing only law enforcement officers and immediate family members to ask judges to temporarily take away peoples’ guns when they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

They were among 15 gun-related laws Newsom approved as the state strengthens what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence calls the nation’s toughest restrictions.

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“With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies,” said the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco. The existing law has mostly been used by police officers, but Ting said the expansion should allow more awareness and more opportunity for others to act. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Governor Signs Ting’s Bill to Expand California’s Red Flag Gun Law(Sacramento, CA) – California is expanding its red flag gun law. Governor Newsom signed AB 61, a bill by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which gives more people access to a court process that could temporarily take away someone’s firearms through a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), if they pose a danger to themselves or others. Ting’s law enables educators, employers and co-workers to also use the tool. Current law only allows law enforcement and immediate family members to file a GVRO.

“Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough. GVROs are a proven gun violence prevention tool that can help save lives. With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies,” said Ting.

The Governor’s approval comes just a few months after researchers at the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis closely examined a sample of individuals who were subjected to a GVRO and found none were involved in subsequent gun-related violence. While the study cited how difficult it is to say how many incidents were prevented, it is reasonable to conclude GVROs play a role in reducing the chance of gun-related violence. From 2016 (when California’s red flag law took effect) through 2018, more than 600 people had weapons removed from their possession via GVROs.

Seventeen states have a version of red flag laws on the books. Twelve enacted their measures after the 2018 Parkland, FL shooting. In California, there are two ways a GVRO can be granted:

  • For a duration of 21 days, immediately, which can be extended for up to one year after a court hearing; or,
  • For a duration of one year, after a court hearing.

For GVRO requests in the latter category, Ting has a companion bill, AB 1493, which the Governor also approved. It allows the subject of a GVRO to surrender their firearms to authorities without contesting the order. Under current law, even a subject who agrees guns should not be in their possession must still go through a court hearing, wasting time and resources.

AB 61 & AB 1493 will take effect September 1, 2020.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Today is World Mental Health Day. Just this week, the California Peer-Run Warm Line launched to provide free emotional support all year long to those not in crisis, but still in need of help. It's peer-run, meaning the person on the other end of the line has experienced similar challenges.The number 1-855-845-7455. Please reach out if you need to.