Bye Bye Boardie

December 15, 2009 marked a significant day in the history of waste management and recycling in California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board, after a 20 year run, held their last Board meeting in Byron Sher Auditorium in the California Environmental Protection Agency. It is ironic that the last meeting should take place in that specific auditorium because Byron Sher is the Senator that created the California Integrated Waste Management Board through legislation in 1989. Senator Sher was there to bid adieu to his creation, and regardless of your feelings about the ordeal, the auditorium’s energy was melancholy and reflective.

There are many sad things about the departure of the Board, but among the saddest is that there really isn’t much the State gained in removing the executive team and public hearing process the Board offered. In many peoples’ opinions more was lost than gained both economically and environmentally. Since the former Board members paychecks came from a special fund that is filled by industry through fees at landfills, there were no savings from the State’s general fund.

Even though there will no longer be a Board overseeing it, the charge of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, now the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (DRRR), doesn’t end with the Agency’s change in structure. The DRRR will still continue to lead us down the path toward zero waste in California. Strategic directives like reducing the amount of organics disposed in landfills, and pushing higher statewide diversion goals, will still be carried out by the staff that have been successfully plugging away at them for years.

Whatever the organizational structure, I’m confident that Californians will continue to do their part in helping to meet the ambitious goals the former Board members and Chairs have set for us.

Bye bye Boardie, I’m gonna miss you so; bye bye Boardie, why’d you have to go?

California Integrated Waste Management Board in action

One Response to “Bye Bye Boardie

  • This is a useful recap on a confusing political deveolpment. Thanks for staying on top of it all.

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