21st Century Policy Project
Under the leadership of the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle), the state is nearly two-thirds of the way toward achieving ambitious waste diversion goals set forth by the Legislature. Since 1990, the partnership of the State, local governments, the waste industry, businesses, environmental groups, and millions of committed Californians has diverted more than 100 million tons of materials from landfills, and nearly 60 cities and counties have already met or exceeded the mandate to cut their trash in half. At the same time, tough solid waste regulations and new facilities coming on line assure Californians environmentally safe disposal for wastes (the other 50 percent) that have not been recovered, reused, or recycled.
As California entered the new millennium, many issues remained and new issues and waste streams are on the horizon. The 21st Century Policy Project brought interested parties together to form a new consensus for the future of solid waste management in California. Under the Board's leadership, this process provided the most current information from within the nation and around the world, stimulated fresh thinking, and built on the successes of the last decade to conserve resources while protecting the health, safety, environment, and economic well being of future generations.
In its leadership role, the Board hosted several events to elicit participation from external and internal stakeholders. In January 1999 the CIWMB conducted an "issues summit" which identified trends effecting the generation and management of solid waste in the first decade of the 21st Century, and what are likely to be the most important issues and policy questions the Board faces in addressing these issues. As a follow up to the Summit, in March of 1999, a Future Search Conference was held at the Sacramento Community Convention Center. At this event, participants discussed the top trends and issues that were identified at the Summit. Then participants developed scenarios of the future of waste management. These scenarios were utilized in developing a vision statement that the Board adopted in February 2000 and has been incorporated into the strategic planning development effort.